When you go to the gas station or the grocery store, you notice that prices are going up. The average Californian is therefore looking for ways to save money over time. Many have heard about the benefits of solar power and how it reduces utility costs for electricity. But some worry about the up-front costs of buying and installing the solar panels. Even though there are federal tax incentives and various rebates to help, many homeowners wonder if going solar is really the best option. Let’s discuss cost concerns in relation to the long view on solar power.
The Rising Cost of the Electrical Grid
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average cost of residential electric power in California is $0.256/kWh (kilowatt-hours). The average home uses 893 kWh per month, costing $229. Further EIA information shows that electricity costs across the United States have increased 2.95% each year over the last 20 years. Projecting forward into the next 20 years, the average monthly cost for electricity in a California home will be about $398 by 2042.
Inflation is not the only contributing factor. Californians are constantly adding new devices, electric cars, and luxuries to their homes, increasing electrical use. Critical upgrades are also required for the power transmission grid, at an estimated cost of $500 billion by 2035. Those costs are passed down to the consumer through their electric bills. And let’s not forget California’s drought issue and increasing summer heat waves. The North American Electric Reliability Corp (NERC) says that the ongoing drought conditions in California put the state at risk for “temporary load shedding,” rolling blackouts, in the event of a wide-area heat event. All of this shows that increasing prices for electricity are to be expected.
The Falling Costs of the Solar Panel
Conversely, prices for photovoltaic system installations have fallen drastically. In 2010, the average cost for a system was about $40,000. Since then, prices have fallen as much as 70%, despite significant increases in efficiency, reliability, and availability! Now the average cost for from a rooftop solar power system is $2.65 per watt, and the average size was 7 kW. With incentives to help, the average cost for a solar panel system is around $14,000.
Even with any “grid connection fees” or future reduced net metering, the greatest benefit of solar electricity is that it reduces the amount of power you have to buy. Our customers see significant savings in the spring and fall, and pay much lower electricity bills in the summer and winter. In the end, a solar panel system pays for itself long before the 25-year SunPower warranty expires.
Getting a solar power system installed by Solaron is one of the best things you can do for your California home in the present and in the future. If you have further questions, Solaron is happy to explain it all and provide you with information, comparisons, and estimates. Just give us a call or schedule a free solar analysis for your home with our online form. You’ll no doubt agree: going solar is worth it!