Cut Your Electric Bill

Published April 19, 2015

Using solar power to reduce your monthly electric bill

It happens every month – the bills come in… the car bill… the phone bill… the credit car bill… and on and on…

When it comes to saving money, sometimes the best option is to cut your monthly bills. You can do all kinds of things to save money, but cutting bills creates opportunities to save and stabilize your monthly budget. By either reducing or completely eliminating some bills you can save hundreds a year, perhaps even thousands depending on how much you can cut.

If you’re like most people, when you get the bill from the electric company and you get “sticker shock.” When it comes to the electric bill, the cost keeps hitting you every month without fail. What’s your electric cost every month… $200? $300? $500? …more? Whatever you are paying, you could be paying a lot less if you installed a solar solution at your home or business.

In the world of solar, you need to think about it this way: If your electricity bill is over $100 or so a month you are a candidate for a solar energy system. That is, the payout from a solar solution would probably benefit you. If you haven’t looked at solar power in a couple of years, you may find that the costs have come down dramatically and there are other options that don’t depend on you coming out of pocket for the full cost of a purchase and installation.

Why solar can save you money

There are several reasons to switch to solar, but one in particular should really win you over:

If you want to save money, paying your electric bill every month-in and month-out is not the way to do it. Now don’t go and just not pay your bill, that’s not the point, but switching to solar can allow you to not pay electric bills any more… ever. But the reasons for switching are almost more because of the “system of electricity” than the better price of solar power versus utility electrical power.

Switching to solar helps the environment and can save you money, but there is more to the story than just how great solar is. About every twenty years the price of electricity doubles, no matter where you are in the country. You may know that electricity costs more or less in some areas of the country, for example Idaho pays the least amount at 8.0 cents/kWh (per kilowatt hour) and Hawaii pays an astounding 33.1 cents/kWh.

But no matter where you live, over a twenty-year period the average increase in cost has been about about 5% to 8% per year depending on where you live. Eight percent isn’t much in one year, but think about the difference as the years go on – versus never paying for electricity again (or paying significantly less). Over the span of a solar system’s life (which is nearly thirty years), just the increase in price of electricity could save you a substantial amount of money.

As an example, say you live in New York where the price of electricity is around 18 cents per kilowatt. Over the life of your new solar system you could a considerable amount

Let’s say you pay the average $300 a month to your electric company. Now add the average 11% increase that New Yorkers have paid over time, and multiply that by the life of your solar system (25 to 30 years) and you could potentially save over $100,000… perhaps much more.

And that is if prices stay in the projected range. But who knows how high they could go? The average increase comes from the cost it takes to make sure everyone in the nation has access to electricity, that means the price of gathering, distributing, and using fossil fuels goes up. From 1995-2005 the cost of natural gas to the consumer went up 40%, while coal only went up about 5%. The problem is that most electricity comes from natural gas… and as price of natural gas increases so will the cost of electricity.

You know what never increases in cost? The sun.

Rebates and government programs help push the costs of solar down

Most people can’t afford to pay for the purchase of new solar system installation in cash up front, but even if you have to make payments they will probably be very manageable and, of course, carbon-emission free. According to the DSIRE saving with solar is easier than ever because of the increased number of rebates being offered by Federal and state programs. What the summary table on the DSIRE website shows is that more and more states are offering options for residents in the solar market in order to drive up use and reduce cost over time. Please note that the DSIRE web site is a good tool but may not always be fully up to date on all the different rebates, tax incentives, and other programs that may be available to you depending on where you live.

Recently, the savings have truly gone up for some states, for example in Texas. Texas has not provided much support for solar in the past, but recently solar activity is increasing, in fact the increase in rebates could actually cut some installation costs in half. The average cost (which can obviously vary greatly depending on where you live) for solar installation around the country is around $7 per watt… but for those who got rebates in Texas, the average cost dropped to $2 per watt. On a medium-sized house, that’s over $15,000 in savings just on installation. The number of rebates and their amount obviously depends on the state and the program – as well as whether certain programs are still available. And even though most people cannot pay the cost of the purchase and installation upfront, there are options to help make the solution affordable and will help people save money over time.

Solar is a good option in many states

Depending on your location in the country, saving with solar is almost always an option, look here and see how much radiation your home gets. Anything that is in a non-dark blue area like Alaska and northern Michigan is likely to save you money on your electric bill. By increasing the amount of energy you get through alternative means, you decrease your reliance on the grid for power, and therefore lowering your monthly electric bill.

The process of switching to solar may seem like a big commitment, but it is one you will only have to do once every 30 years or so, and in those thirty years you can save thousands and thousands of dollars by reducing your dependence on traditional energy. Maybe you won’t live in your home for the next 30 years though, that’s okay, because your solar powered home will increase in value; in the neighborhood of $10,000 to $15,000 for a good quality system. The reviews for solar are numerous and overwhelmingly positive in attitude by residential owners.

Leasing and PPA options can take the bite out of the cost of solar

Both leasing and Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) can help make the cost of a solar solution manageable. In both of these programs you don’t have to pay up front for the cost of the solar panels and installation costs. You sign a contract and pay for the solution over time. In most cases, the savings you receive from the solar solution will cover the cost of the lease or the PPA payments every month (in part or in full) without you’re having to pay the significant up front costs for the solution.

Depending on where you live and what type of solution you put in place, you could see savings of 50% to even 80% or more on your monthly electric bill – and that’s nothing to sniff at. Beyond this, if electricity rates keep going up at the average 5% to 8% a year that they’ve been increasing at for the past 20 years, you may find in five years that the savings are considerably more than you thought.

As with any significant financial transaction, you should make sure to consult your tax and financial advisor before you enter into any lease or PPA agreement. You should also talk to an attorney before signing any contract. That’s just being a smart consumer!

FederalSolarSolutions.com can help you with your solar needs

FederalSolarSolutions.com is a nationwide consumer connection company that is all about helping you make a smart solar power decision. Our web site offers a significant amount of information, research, and data to aid in your evaluation of your solar power options. Plus you can use our free, no-obligation quote form to get free quotes on a solar solution that could work for you. FederalSolarSolutions.com is a Colorado-based company that is dedicated to helping our Web Site users make good decisions with regard to evaluating and installing a solar solution. Our company works with a nationwide network of solar installers and contractors that specialize in solar power installations. Best of all, our program is totally free and there is no obligation on your part to work with any company to which we connect you.