Utility rate hikes make generating electricity at home a smart move

Utility rate hikes make generating electricity at home a smart move

Annual utility rate increases lead many homeowners to consider switching to a renewable source of energy.

Weighing the two options between paying extra on fossil fuels or switching to a new clean energy system just got easier.

To help consumers save money and add solar power to their homes, PSP, a California solar company releases an energy saving tips sheet. The expert tip sheet offers different ways to save on utility costs and be more energy efficient. Techniques involve more careful monitoring and use of current utilities and even tips on how to get started with solar energy production for low costs. The tip sheet goes hand in hand with reports done by Mckinsey and Company which projects a 40% drop in overall solar costs by 2015.

The tip sheet especially accommodates homeowners seeking energy saving tactics after recent approvals were passed by the California for yet another utility rate hike on a third of all California homeowners.

The recent rate hike approval will allow one of the biggest California utility companies, PG&E to raise rates in 2015 as well as in 2016. The California Public Utilities Commission, or CPUC approved this rate increase and explained, “The decision approved attrition increases of 4.57 percent for 2015 and 5 percent for 2016.” Keeping this increase in mind, a research article published by Mckinsey and Company projected a drop in solar PV module pricing for 2015 through 2020. The article explains, “The cost of a typical commercial system could fall 40 percent by 2015 and an additional 30 percent by 2020.”

In the meantime, the 30 percent federal tax credit for a range of energy efficiency measures is set to expire at the end of 2016 and industry lobbyists are campaigning to extend or reinstate expired tax credits.

Calling it "critically important to America's future," the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today launched a national campaign to extend the 30 percent solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) past 2016 by emphasizing tax fairness.

Since the ITC went into effect in 2006, solar investment has exploded. Solar installations in 2014 will be 70 times higher than they were in 2006, and by the end of this year, there will be nearly 30 times more installed solar capacity. There are also more than 143,000 Americans currently employed in solar.

"We’ve gone from being an $800-million industry in 2006 to a $15-billion industry today," said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. "The price to install a solar rooftop system has been cut in half, while utility systems have dropped by 70 percent. It’s taken the U.S. solar industry 40 years to install the first 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar. Now, we’re going to install the next 20 GW in the next two years.

As prices fall, solar power becomes more viable for more homeowners, whether they buy or lease a system.

Solar panels are commonly these days by homeowners through financing options. When someone buys a system, they enjoy lower bottom line costs supplemented by more available tax credits and cash back rebates for ownership. Owning a system means you can enjoy returns of up to 30% a year on your investment, and once it pays itself off, you enjoy free electricity forever.

Companies who provide leasing often give you automatic savings with a locked in 20-year fixed rate 15% to 30% lower than a current monthly electric bill. Most companies offer all this with a free solar installation for zero dollars down upfront. One advantage to leasing is the homeowner is not the owner and is not held responsible for repairs and maintenance of your system.

Versatile solar companies facilitate financing and leasing of solar panels directly through them. They can file all necessary paperwork in order for customers who finance to receive their maximum available incentives. They also provide free monitoring and repairs for customers who choose to lease.

Read more about solar power.


Topics: Building Green, Cost of Ownership, Energy Star, Photovoltaic / Solar Panels, Solar Power, Sustainability Trends & Statistics

Companies: Solar Energy Industries Association


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