Utility prices are continuing to increase, and the Federal Government expects the price of electricity to keep rising through 2023 and even beyond (1). The Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the average electricity bill in the U.S. rose from $0.147 per kWh in early 2022 all the way to $0.168 per kWh in early 2023 (3). Electricity bills can vary greatly between different states. For instance, New York State has been easily exceeding this average, costing you more on your utility bill.
By making your own energy with solar, you can save and help lower your utility prices. With this recent push towards clean energy, there is even more reason to look into saving with solar. New York State and the Federal Government are offering a variety of incentives and rebates at the commercial and residential level to help more individuals go solar. Saving is just one of many reasons that solar could be right for you!
Utility Prices Continue Rising
As of August 2022, NEADA (a group representing state directors of the Federal Government’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) stated that U.S. families have incurred about $16 billion in utility debt. This is almost doubled from about $8.1 billion in debt at the end of 2019 (1). Solar can help lower your utility bill in the long run, creating a more affordable and consistent cost compared to the continued increases we will likely see in the retail price of electricity.
Even as many more people go solar and switch to clean energy, there is still some hesitation by some individuals. The IEA says that demand for natural gas needs to fall dramatically by the end of this decade if we want to stay on track to a our goal of a net zero world by 2050 (2). Laws and initiatives such as this help push more people and companies to make changes towards these energy goals. State and Federal incentives help provide more of a financial incentive, helping people switch to clean energy. These efforts provide individuals and companies looking to go solar with ways to save money on the installation and earn some of the cost back as a tax credit. Overall, there are many ways the U.S. is currently encouraging this switch to clean energy by making it the more appealing option.
(on right) Graph depicting utility prices in cents per Kilowatt-hour. Reading from left to right, it shows the prices from March of this year through 2012 prices. Simply looking at the top row depicting January months, you can see a large increase in recent years. January of 2023 had prices at $0.23/kwh compared to 2020 with $0.17/kwh. This is an approximate $0.06 increase per kWh over three years.
For example, with an average home using 850kWh per month, the approximate change in cost would be $195 in January 2023 compared to $144 in January 2020.
Take Control of Your Bill
When you go solar, you can fight utility prices. In general, the price of your electric bill depends on simply how much electricity you use and the rate at which the utility company charges for that electricity (4). When you’re using grid power, the only thing you are able to do to control costs is try to lower your electricity usage, however this isn’t always easy, and there is only so much you can do there.
When you go solar, you can replace your current utility bill costs with your solar payments. These payments can be much more consistent since you are creating the energy you need. This way you are much less reliant on changes with grid power and its costs. With solar energy, costs are very predictable. Many homeowners are able to fully cover their energy needs with energy from their solar system (4). This means you will typically only have the service charge for the utility. This cost is used for service and maintenance of the grid, charges for net metering, and other small fees to ensure the grid and your utilities are running smoothly (4). Read more about the financial benefits and savings of going solar in our article, Financial Benefits of Solar Energy!
Of course, things can vary during different times of the year. Using mass amounts of energy, say with the AC in the summer, can bring up your energy usage meaning you may need to supplement with some energy from the grid. This can increase your cost temporarily. However, when comparing this to the price if you were still on the grid, temporary increases such as this don’t impact things too much. Your solar system can also work the opposite way, for instance, if you are generating more energy than you need at a time, this can be sent back into the grid for credits!
Don't Wait to Go Solar
The current incentives and rebates will not last forever. Currently, between New York State and Federal incentives and rebates, you can save as much as half of the cost of your solar project. Even now, the NYSERDA Solar Rebate is on the brink of dropping. Currently, this rebate can save you $0.30/watt on your project, however once the current block has filled, this will drop to only $0.20/watt. As more people invest in solar, there will continue to be less incentives and rebates offered, so if you want to start saving on your utility bill, why not start now to maximize your total savings.
When you go solar, our expert engineering team will work with you to design a solar system which will work best for your energy needs. We will also work to take into account any big changes in your energy needs that you anticipate in the near future, such as adding a heated pool or an electric vehicle and charging. This way we can make sure we are providing each of our customers the best experience with our solar panels!
Interested in learning more about solar? We’re always happy to help!