Save Money on Your Energy Bills
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a typical homeowner relying on electricity to heat water could save up to $1000.00 in the first year of operation by installing a solar water heating system! The savings over time increases as electricity rates rise. The average solar heating system pays for itself in 3-5 years.
Solar Energy is Excellent for the Environment
52% of our nation’s electricity is made by burning coal. Burning coal for electricity pollutes our rivers, lakes, oceans, air, soil, and our bodies. It also releases carbon dioxide which is heating our planet. Solar energy is an excellent alternative because the sun is a clean, inexhaustible source of clean energy, available for free. The energy will not run out, go up in price, bury miners, destroy coastlines, remove mountain tops, increase asthma, or spew pollutants into our world.
Using Solar Promotes Sustainability.
According to the World Commission on Environment and Development, sustainability is the concept of meeting “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Harnessing the nearly unlimited energy from the sun is an excellent step toward sustainability. The petroleum industry’s analysts predict that we will start to run out of fossil fuels, our current main source of electricity, between 2020 and 2060, but prices will rise dramatically long before, and have already begun doing so. Shell International predicts that renewable energy will supply 60% of the world’s energy by 2060.
Using Solar Increases our Energy Security.
It’s no secret, our nation’s current fossil fuel energy use depends on imports of natural gas, coal, and oil imported from other countries. Our sources are vulnerable to political instabilities, trade disputes, embargoes, and other disruptions. In addition, much of our current energy structure is vulnerable when you consider the high voltage lines which must be maintained or the consequences of an accident at a nuclear power plant. It’s very possible the money we spend on petroleum makes it into the hands of our enemies at war.
Many energy security concerns could be lessened by the increased development of renewable resources. Installation of solar energy systems can increase the reliability and reduce the vulnerability or our power systems. Solar energy systems are smaller, more dispersed, and less prone to disruption than conventional electricity systems. There are also no explosive or flammable fuel stocks needed. Solar will not take decades or cost billions to implement. We can have it on your home or building next week.
Energy security is also created because supplies of solar energy are predictable and abundant. This allows consumers to avoid swings in supply and demand in energy markets, which can dramatically affect the price of energy. Technological improvements and federal and state incentives have made the cost of renewables more cost competitive compared to power from conventional sources like coal and natural gas.
The Local Connection
Renewable solar energy resources are developed locally. Often, money spent on renewable energy leaves a community, going to utilities outside of the region. Dollars spent on renewable energy stay local, creating more jobs and fostering economic growth.