The Cost Cutter and Eco-Friendly Energy
The size of the savings you experience when switching to solar energy depends upon the
rates you are presently receiving for electricity. By reducing your use of traditional utilities,
you can lower which tier you are charged for. And better yet, if you generate electricity that
you yourself don’t use, it’s fed back into the grid in a program called “net-metering” (in the
case of residential) and you’ll be credited for it.
Commercial properties are billed differently for electricity, so their savings are different.
They are charged a “demand fee” based on the peak/highest demand they required that
month. By using another source (solar) their peak is lowered. So in both cases there are
significant savings to be experienced by lowering your reliance on traditional utilities.
The central cost to consumers is the cost of installation. Prices vary depending on the
size of the installation and the company used, but for an individual residence it could be
a little expensive, A bigger house might be a little more In the case of a large corporation
it could be a multimillion dollar project; however, if that company is experiencing
excessive energy bills, it can still be a financially savvy decision. Qualified solar
installers work with you to create the right system to accommodate your use and needs,
and to enhance efficiency so that you can strategize how to get the best return on your
*Saving with Solar: A Quick Case Study
To give you an idea of the sense of savings, we can look at the study of a 330 kw solar
project conducted by Xnergy, an alternative energy provider in southern California, for
Southwest Traders. Consider the numbers: The project has generated over 530,000kwh
in 2010. Southwest Traders had been paying their utility provider, SCE approximately
$0.16 per kwh during the solar-producing times. So the result of obtaining their own
solar energy system saved the company over $85,000 that year; every cent of which
would have been paid to the utility company otherwise. (In addition to these immense
savings, the installation generated enough power to operate 29 homes for 1 year, and
ST’s avoidance of greenhouse gases is the equivalent of taking 66 cars off the road for a
year, a nice benefit to their community).
*The Ongoing Savings of Solar Energy Use
The up-front cost of PV system installation is the cost to consumers; beyond that, very
little maintenance is required, because there are no moving parts. Some cleaning and an
annual check-up will generally ensure that your panels are in great working order.
Photovoltaic systems are typically built to last 20-25 years, or beyond. Better yet, many
states offer further protection. For example, in order for solar panels to be eligible for the
state incentives in Virginia, the manufacturers must have their products be UL certified
for a 25 year warranty, and the solar installer’s workmanship is under a 10 year
warranty. You would be hard pressed to find another product that offers such assurances!