Busting Solar Energy Myths – It’s Too Expensive!
The cost of production of solar energy components is rapidly getting cheaper and cheaper, but yet the cost to install a residential solar energy system still seems to be prohibitive – or is it?
Smoke And Mirrors
The U.S. government has historically provided subsidies to traditional (i.e. mature) energy sources such as coal and nuclear power. The subsidies provided to renewable sources are about 100 times less, thus making it seem much more expensive than, in fact, it really is, compared to the sources mentioned above. A serious case of behind-the-scenes smoke and mirrors.
Will Your Utility Bill Get Cheaper?
The short answer is a resounding “No”. As the supply of traditional fossil fuels decreases, so the cost of accessing those fuels increases, and those increased costs are then passed on to you, the situation will only get worse, and the costs will continue to escalate. Since 1970, utility rates have increased annually an average of 5.5%. Not only that, but paying your utility bill will never provide you with any equity. it’s more like a variable interest rate loan that can never be paid off and whose rate continually increases.
Hidden Costs Of Traditional Electricity Sources
The federal subsidies make traditional electricity sources look like a great deal. But, what about the intangible costs, or the costs not readily apparent? Did you know that the cost of these subsidies is covered by the income the government garners from your income taxes? Other hidden costs include increased pollution, damage to the environment and natural habitats, increased health care costs due to the effects of the increased pollution, etc.
If all these hidden costs are taken into account, renewable energy begins to look like a much more attractive proposition.
States To The Rescue
More and more states are answering the call to increase their presence in the solar energy field by providing substantial rebates for new installations. California is one of the leading lights in this area, with the California Solar Initiative providing rebates depending on the expected performance of any new solar installation. These rebates go a long way to leveling the energy playing field.
Hidden Benefits Of Solar Energy
While certain benefits of installing a solar electric system may be obvious (reduced, or eliminated, electricity bill; environmental benefits), others may not be so obvious. For example, did you know that having a solar electric system installed on your home may well increase the equity value of that home? This alone could cover the cost of installing a system, should you ever need to sell your home.
Even though awareness of the problems caused by carbon emissions and the dangers presented by global warming is increasing, adoption of solar and renewable energies is taking place slower than is desirable. The cause is generally attributed to myths and misinformation regarding renewable energy and solar energy in particular, the primary myth being that solar is far too expensive. Hopefully, the facts presented here will lay that myth to rest and open the door to wider acceptance of and investment in solar and renewable energy.