Yardley Voice – Going Green Solar Column – March 2013
by Mark Bortman
Take a look at your electric bill. It might be the lowest electric bill you’ll have for quite a while. The amount of electricity you use is measured in kilowatthours (kWh). Starting April 1st, the amount PECO charges per kWh is going up about 10%.
This is on top of increases of 5% this past January and 20% last October. Who knows how high the rate will be in 25 years?
About a year ago, I wrote an article about how much the price of solar panels had dropped. The title of the article was “Solar Panels – Cheaper than PECO.” That article discussed how the cost per kWh of a solar electric system compared favorably to PECO’s rates.
It seems unbelievable, but the prices for solar panels have continued to drop over the past year while PECO’s rates have continued to climb. The new headline should be “Solar Panels – MUCH Cheaper than PECO.”
And one thing I can guarantee is that the energy from the sun is free and will never go up in price. Many people make the assumption that renewable energy is more expensive than fossil fuels. But that is not the case anymore.
Over the life of a solar electric system, the electricity ends up much less expensive than it is from the utility. In looking around on the Internet, you may not get the full picture. There are pricing calculators out there for installed solar energy systems. These are not updated nearly often enough to keep up.
In addition, the overall costs for solar energy systems vary from region to region. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the solar industry has been busy for quite a while.
This experience and competition among installers has helped drive costs down and efficiencies up.
With solar panels less expensive than ever, it is an option to consider. As I like to say, solar makes sense – it makes sense for the environment and it makes sense for your bank account.