First came pain at the pump, with gasoline prices topping $5 per gallon. Now get ready for sticker shock in your electric bill, with some rates in New England rising 50% or more by this summer. So, is now the time to hop on the solar bandwagon? We’ve got five fresh reasons to consider making the move sooner rather than later.
Five Reasons to Make the Move to Solar
- Electricity rates are skyrocketing. Nationwide, wholesale electricity prices are expected to double this summer, with New England taking an even harder hit. Eversource and Liberty Utilities, the two largest power providers in New Hampshire, are set to raise their retail electric rates significantly – a spike of 47% for the average homeowner in Liberty territory. In real numbers, if your average monthly electric bill is $150, it will now be about $220 – a jump of $70 per month. Unitil, in the Concord, NH area increased rates in the 50% range earlier this year. And Green Mountain Power will be announcing new rate increases of their own later this year. Fasten your seat belts for more price spikes ahead!
Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency Short Term Energy Outlook
- New England utilities are highly dependent on costly natural gas. More than half of all electricity provided in New England is drawn from natural gas, and its share of the region’s power mix is still growing, as old, dirty coal plants are retired. In May, natural gas prices reached $8.78 per million British thermal units, the highest they’ve been since 2008. This summer, they could easily top $10 per MMBtu because of pipeline constraints in New England and competing resource demands nationwide.
- Once rates go up, they tend to stay up. In New Hampshire, the rate increases already announced are the largest since the state’s utilities were deregulated in 1996. And there’s no sign they’ll be backing down any time soon. Part of the problem is that New England depends on natural gas for nearly half of its heating needs as well as for its power supply, compounding supply-demand imbalances during cold, winter months. Now, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupting global energy markets, the United States has reserved 50 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas for shipment to Europe every year through 2030 to make up for a third of the EU’s lost natural gas supply from Russia. This global reset will keep pressure on U.S. natural gas prices and gas-fired electricity for years to come.
- Climate change could make matters worse. Official price forecasts don’t factor in unanticipated events that could add even more pressure on natural gas prices in regional and global energy markets this summer. For example, a large fire at an LNG terminal in Freeport, Texas, has already taken 17% of U.S. LNG production off line at least through August. Now, an “above normal” hurricane season, driven in part by rising ocean temperatures, also threatens to knock out petroleum refineries and pipelines along the storm-prone Gulf of Mexico this summer. And record heat – already gripping much of the nation’s heartland and heading for New England – could drive up demand for air conditioning and put even more strain on the nation’s natural gas supplies.
- The economics of solar power have never looked better. The good news is that all of these inflation worries can be put behind you when you run your home on solar power. You don’t have to pay a big utility bill to heat or cool your home, or to turn on the lights and run appliances. And, if you own an electric vehicle, you don’t even have to worry about the price of gas anymore; at $5 per gallon, the cost of pumping gas into your old vehicle is three or more times more per mile of travel than charging your new EV on solar power. And, having locked in a 25-year supply of fossil-free fuel from the sun, you’ll have extra money available in the family budget to help pay off your mortgage and spend on other more fun things.
And it gets better still! When you install one of our Solaflect Trackers, you qualify for $7,500 or more in federal income tax savings. (This credit will fall from 26% to 22% next year, before phasing out in 2024.) And if this discounted purchase price still doesn’t fit your budget, there are plenty of no-fee financing options to make the total package more affordable. Once installed, your Solaflect Tracker easily could save $25,000 or more on your home electricity bill over the next 25 years – and you’ll never have to worry again about rising energy costs that are out of your control.
At Solaflect Energy, we put the power in your hands to help fight climate change and rising energy costs. For more information, email us or call (802) 649-3700.