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"My Electric Bill Is Only..."
May 12, 2020 at 7:00 AM
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Solar systems cost money, sometimes a lot of money. I’ve had family members, friends, and customers tell me that solar is great, but it’s not for them; they just don’t have high electric bills.

The truth is that it doesn’t really matter how much electricity you use, but it does matter how much that electricity is costing per unit. Think about it this way: if I spend $500 a month on electricity using 2,000 units and you spend $50 on electricity for 200 units the cost is the same for that electricity: 25 cents per unit or kilowatt hour (kWh). If solar costs 15 cents per unit and you and I are paying 25 cents we both save ten cents per unit, or 40% off our bills. Now, of course that percentage of savings will translate to higher dollar totals for me with the huge bill in the first place, but savings are savings.

But wait, it doesn’t just end there! What’s happening to your bill over time?

Has it gone up, stayed the same, or gone down?

I’d wager most people are dealing with rising costs, and if so, they’d benefit even if solar didn’t cost less… Why?

Solar costs have bottomed out. That’s right. On the floor. No where else to go. Since the high costs of the modern day solar cell being developed and refined in the 50's and 60's to now, prices are a tiny fraction of what they used to be. Unless you believe labor costs will dip or somehow become more efficient (crews can install a simple system in less than a day now), then we are sitting at a historic opportunity where the prices have fallen and stabilized while government incentives still exist.

With the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) at 26%, 22% for 2021, and then gone completely for residential use the only way to think holding out is beneficial is believing solar prices can drop more than 26% or that there will be future incentives given out. With solar electricity costing less than power from the utility in many areas, why would there be any future incentives? I don’t believe the renewable energy sector lobbies more effectively than oil and gas does.

As the cost of electricity from your local utility increases and you aren’t taking advantage of solar power you are not only losing out on evaporating incentive money but also dragging out your pay off period. The earlier you purchase solar the sooner it will pay for itself. More and more homeowners every day are paying off their loans and living without a payment from the solar system they installed.

Now, more than ever we need to enable ourselves to live without debt. Anything you have to pay for to live is a debt, including your water, gas, and electric bill. If we want to reduce the disparity of the wealth gap, we need to make more homeowners aware of the savings potential in renewable energy, and not just those with the largest house and largest electric bill.

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