More People are Choosing Solar as Energy Costs Trend Upward

For several years solar energy usage has been on the rise, and many homeowners have decided to make the switch to this renewable energy source. In recent years, though, that trend is accelerating as the cost of energy continues to trend upward. Residential and commercial solar power can help shield you from the roller coaster ups and downs of energy costs.

Utility Electricity Prices On the Rise

One of the questions that you should consider before deciding whether a solar system is the best choice for your home or business is how long before the cost up front will be offset by savings. It’s impossible to determine exactly how long that will take because the price of energy from your local power utility is constantly changing based on demand, market forces, and other influences.

You might wonder, then, whether the price of energy could actually go down, erasing any savings from installing a solar array. While that is a legitimate question to ask, if history is any guide, the answer is: definitely not. Total rates have increased by 15% over the last 10 years, or about two cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). That might sound pretty minor, but when you multiply the cost per hour by your total energy usage, that can add up. U.S. households average about 10,400 kWh a year, so that’s an increase of more than $200 a year on your power bill.

Competing Energy Sources Getting More Expensive

Another trend to keep an eye on is whether the price of various energy sources are going up or down, because that directly influences your residential power costs. Currently the most common non-renewable energy sources in the U.S. are:

  • Natural gas
  • Coal
  • Petroleum
  • Nuclear

Natural gas prices did go down for a little while as the fracking industry experienced a boom, but our natural gas supply is vulnerable to forces that shape international markets, and in other parts of the world natural gas is significantly more expensive. There’s a good chance natural gas in the U.S. will also continue to rise, and the costs of other fuel sources, such as coal or nuclear, are unlikely to decline. The exact amount that your power costs increase depends a lot on where you live, but the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts they will keep going up on average for everyone.

Seasonal Fluctuations

Another frustration driving more people toward solar energy are the seasonal fluctuations of energy costs. Various factors influence the current cost of power, from seasonal demand to outdoor temperatures, so you might see much higher power bills at certain times during the year, then see it go down again, making it hard to budget and plan for next month or next year.

For these reasons and more, many people are choosing to get out of the guessing game that is power bills and energy costs, streamline their payments, and get more predictability with a solar system. Find out if this is the right choice for you by calling Intermountain Wind and Solar today.

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