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by Glenn Jakins, founder and CEO of Humless
The past couple of years have seen historic price increases on everything from groceries to concert tickets, and everyone is feeling the pinch.
For homeowners, inflation translates into higher interest rates, lost equity, increased property taxes, more expensive home repairs, and skyrocketing energy costs. Between 2021 and 2022, energy prices went up more than 30%, and prices have continued to rise in 2023.
All of these expenses add up, but there is one safe haven homeowners can turn to for respite – and it starts on the roof.
More than ever, solar energy is giving consumers an opportunity to lower their energy bill over the long term and set themselves up for success in an increasingly unpredictable economic climate. The advantages of solar are obvious in some ways, but there are some hidden benefits that everyone may not be aware of.
Whether residents are building a new home or looking to improve their existing one, they should seriously consider solar as an option. Zeroing in on inflation, this article will explore four of the ways solar energy is a smart bet, even in a shrinking economy.
Savings From the Inflation Reduction Act.
Passed by the US Congress just last year, the Inflation Reduction Act contains a substantial incentive for homeowners to install solar panels. The Residential Clean Energy Credit allows consumers to subtract 30% of the cost of most solar products, including the panels or roofing materials themselves and accompanying energy storage solutions from their federal taxes. The average household will save $9,000 over the life of the solar installation. Savings extend throughout 2032, making solar energy accessible to more families than ever before.
Selling Excess Power.
Most people know that solar energy is cheaper than electricity generated by fossil fuels. Consumer Affairs reports that the average price of fossil fuel energy ranges from 5 to 17 cents per kilowatt hour, while solar energy averages only 3 to 6 cents. What not all homeowners may know is that if their solar roofing generates more energy than they actually use, that energy can be sold back to the power grid and generate even further energy savings.
As solar technology has improved, some solar installations now come with a DC (vs. AC)-coupled setup. This allows the home to draw energy directly from the solar panels, powering lights, appliances etc. before sending excess to the grid, instead of looping power through the grid from the get go.
The unfortunate truth is that the electrical grid in the United States has not been properly planned and maintained as the population has increased, and our way of life has become more dependent on electronics. As a result, millions of people across the country have suffered from both planned and unexpected blackouts. Aside from the inconvenience, electricity loss can cost homeowners real money in terms of lost business productivity, spoiled food and medical supplies or issues with water pumps, heating and cooling.
Solar customers with battery storage can avoid this by creating a microgrid environment. Solar panels can send excess energy straight to the batteries to be kept in reserve for nighttime use or in case of inclement weather or a power failure.
Planning for the Future.
Consumers that add battery storage to their solar roofing, either as the system is installed or as an add-on at a later date, can protect themselves from future economic and systemic turmoil.
Over the lifetime of a roof collecting solar power, a residential customer can save up to $97,000, depending where they live. If energy costs continue to climb, as they most certainly will, solar power is a great way to help inflation-proof a home. Higher costs mean more savings for the homeowner in the long run.
Additionally, changing regulations make solar a smart investment now. In California, for example, solar roofing is already a requirement for new construction. Maryland, New York, and Vermont are considering similar legislation. As the US government’s stated goal is for 100% clean energy by 2035, other states will likely follow. It’s impossible to predict what other regulations and standards will materialize in the future, but there’s every reason to suspect that more clean energy requirements will materialize. Installing solar now gives homeowners a head start and will save them the trouble and expense of making changes down the line.
At a time where so many aspects of owning a home seem out of control, many are looking for smart ways to save money and find some control. Adding solar energy to rooftops is one way that consumers can stretch their dollars, hedge against uncertainty and invest in the future.
Founder and CEO of Humless Glenn Jakins is a serial entrepreneur with a multi-decade track record of taking creative ideas and turning them into successful products that change lives. With a strong background in logistics and operations, he has helped launch multiple 8-figure companies and been instrumental in the increase of tens of millions of dollars in sales for many more.