As the cost of photovoltaic or PV solar power has plunged over the last few years, municipal and private power utility companies have watched their customer base begin a steady decline.
According to many sources, grid parity — the point at which solar energy costs are less than or equal to those of grid electricity — will soon be achieved in all 50 states, meaning that even more customers will look to alternative energy as a cost-effective replacement for traditional utilities.
Primarily, the power companies have opposed consumer adoption of alternative energy because it hurts their profit model. However, because solar technology provides many significant benefits to both the power grid and the community, the utility companies have not choice but to embrace this new energy paradigm.
Some of the most striking benefits associated with photovoltaic technology and other alternative energy sources are financial.
The historic volatility of fossil fuel prices has translated to an equally unpredictable shift in utility rates. Public utility commissions have allowed the power companies to implement onerous rate increases year after year. Meanwhile, consumers have forced to absorb the cost impact.
By adopting rooftop solar technology, consumers can ensure a more secure future financially.
Recent research demonstrates that even the traditional power industry benefits from consumer migration to solar energy.
As more consumers adopt alternative energy, the stress and drain on the power grid will diminish significantly. For the power utility companies, this means fewer outages and reduced maintenance and repair costs. The utility companies can also reduce their investment in research and development, and focus on providing a more resilient, price-stable energy system.
Faced with a more responsive system and more palatable grid-based electricity costs, consumers will be more likely to embrace a hybrid approach rather than flocking to detach from the grid.
The utility companies provide much-needed electricity across the country, but at the end of the day, they are in business to maximize profits. This business model can’t hold up in a free market economy when consumers have affordable alternatives.
As hundreds of thousands of consumers install photovoltaic solar systems each year, the power companies will continue to lose customers. For those consumers who adopt grid-tied PV systems, power demands will decrease significantly.
Traditional for-profit electricity providers, fearful of losing revenue, may continue in their attempts to block a free market and consumer choice. Fortunately, a surging consumer insistence on alternative energy options may help eliminate unfair utility practices and rate hikes for good.
The time has come for the alternative energy industries and the traditional utility providers to work together (or at least not in opposition) to provide the most affordable, most accessible options for the American public. This way, everyone benefits.
As we learn more about the financial benefits of solar technology, it’s easy to see why consumer investment in energy independence can benefit everyone, as long as the utility companies are willing to embrace a new paradigm.
For more information how alternative energy can benefit you, contact Intermountain Wind and Solar. We can provide all the information you need to evaluate your options and make an informed choice for your future and PV solar power.
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