What You Should Know About Solar Energy: Costs Are Going Down
If you’re considering whether going solar is a worthwhile financial move for your home, there are essentially two factors that you should look at: 1) the costs associated with solar power, and 2) the rates you pay for electricity from your utility. Going solar makes economic sense when solar electricity costs less than grid electricity.
As for solar, it is clear that costs are coming down. Rooftop solar panels are now more affordable and accessible than ever. This is why more and more households are having solar energy systems installed: going solar is a great way to reduce your power bills.
But what about the future cost of grid electricity? If electricity rates are going up, then of course going solar makes sense. As you’re probably aware, however, utility electricity rates fluctuate seasonally and annually. “What if utility electricity rates go down instead of up?” you might be asking yourself. Would it still be worth it for you to go solar? This article seeks to address this question and put to rest any idea that grid electricity rates could be going down. Continue reading →
Massachusetts is considered a leading solar state. Find out why solar is so popular
Despite the state’s reputation for its cold, snowy winters, going solar is in fact a great way for Massachusetts residents to save money on their power bills. In this article we take a look at why solar panels are such a great investment for your home or business in Massachusetts.
Electricity prices in Massachusetts, Connecticut and other New England states are on the rise again this winter. Utilities cite an undersupply of natural gas to the region as the problem behind the increases. But could you take matters into your own hands by turning to rooftop solar in MA to cut costs instead?
How much will electricity cost rise?
In Massachusetts, National Grid and NSTAR customers on a ‘basic service’ tariff will see the amount they pay per kilowatt-hour (kWh) increase by on average 37% from this month and 29% from January 1st, respectively. This will translate into bill increases of roughly $33 and $28 per month for average households. Similarly, prices for Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) customers will rise by 26% from the beginning of 2015 – working out to about $17/mo in additional electricity expenditure. Investor-owned utilities like NStar and National Grid cannot not increase basic service tariffs arbitrarily, but rather must seek permission from the relevant Public Utility Commission (e.g. DPU in Massachusetts) and provide justification for any proposed changes. Common reasons include network infrastructure investment and fuel price increases – the latter of which is behind this winter’s hikes. Continue reading →
As a result of solar PV cost declines, rising utility rates, and supportive public policies and incentives, residential rooftop solar PV has become an affordable option for millions of customers, especially in America’s 50 largest cities. This is especially true if customers have the ability to access low-cost financing options like longer-term loans, leases, and third-party power purchase agreements (PPAs) that eliminate the upfront cost. Thus, the availability of solar PV (and other ways to more efficiently use energy) has caused many customers to seek their own degree of personal “energy independence” by focusing on ways they can diversify their energy choices and exert greater control over their utility bills.
However, most of the customers who want a greater degree of personal energy independence (and the community leaders who wish to help them get there) often do not understand (or are simply unaware) of how solar PV technology can help them save money and reap the rewards of a largely risk-free long-term investment. Often, the lack of familiarity most customers have with solar PV has the effect of increasing the costs (often called “customer acquisition costs”) that solar PV installers must incur to educate consumers and make a sale. When one considers that selling more PV systems is how solar installers can reduce their other costs and make their businesses leaner, more competitive, and cost-effective without incentives, educating customers and community leaders about the “dollars and cents” value of solar PV truly is paramount. Continue reading →
EnergySage is pleased to announce the development of a formal relationship with the Massachusetts Sierra Club to accelerate the adoption of clean energy technologies, such as solar photovoltaic (electric), solar thermal (hot water) and geothermal-heat pump (space cooling and heating) systems. The joint effort will focus on proactive outreach, education and free advocacy services for owners and decision-makers at commercial properties, including businesses, religious institutions, government buildings, schools and non-profits. The details of this partnership can be viewed here. Continue reading →
There’s nothing as immutable as the basic laws of supply and demand. Right? Well, a recent CNN blog post is saying not so fast. With worldwide demand for oil low, CNN’s blogger asks, “so why is oil trading high at $113 a barrel, more than twice the price it was trading at five years ago when the global economy was booming? What in the world is going on?” Continue reading →
I’m located in Massachusetts and I thought my recent experiences looking into solar PV for my house might be helpful for folks.
First off, I should say that I’m pretty lucky to have an unobstructed south-facing roof. I’ve been thinking about solar for a while, and watching prices go down, so a couple of months ago I started asking people who had installed solar PV panels if they could recommend companies. I found two through word of mouth and then I found three more via EnergySage.com.
“Suddenly faced with shrinking sales, some utilities are asking for regulatory changes so they can charge higher rates per kilowatt hour in exchange for helping customers further reduce consumption . . .” Doesn’t this violate the basic law of supply and demand—that as demand goes down, prices go down, too? Continue reading →