Let’s think of the energy your home uses and compare it to your car.
First think about your energy, let’s focus on electricity as it is straightforward to understand. Right now, you pay a monthly utility bill- the average Albertan uses 700 kWh of electricity per month. You don’t own and you’re never going to own your own energy as an asset; all you are doing is merely renting it from your utility provider.
Now think about your car; you probably either own it outright, have it financed, or you’re leasing it. Regardless, your car is an asset of yours that you own or you’re putting money towards owning it. Just like it doesn’t make sense for you to permanently rent your car from Enterprise or Avis, it doesn’t make sense to rent your electricity from Epcor or Enmax without ever being able to own it. It makes much more financial sense to put your money towards something that you will own and that will pay itself off in a few years; and will after generate energy and money for you that wouldn’t exist otherwise.
Solar panels allow you to own your own electricity, instead of constantly buying it from the grid. They have an affordable up-front cost, and pay themselves off in a few years. Ideally, you won’t have to pay an electricity bill ever again and you’ll be able to sell any excess electricity back to your utility in order to generate even more money.
Consider two scenarios.
You DON’T install solar panels and continue to pay your utility provider for fossil-fuel generated electricity.
- You pay $150.00 / month for electricity.
- Over 6 years, you pay $10,800 in total for electricity.
- In the 6 years after that, you will still pay another $10,800 for your electricity.
- In total, in the next 25 years you will pay a total of $45,000 for your electricity.
- These numbers assume that electricity prices will stay the same which they will not.
- Electricity prices will steadily climb in the next decade due to environmental regulations and standards including a phase out of our cheapest source of electricity (coal-generated electricity) and both a federal and provincial carbon tax.
You DO install solar panels and as a result, help the environment by owning your own clean energy.
- An approximate estimate for a solar panel system that enables the average home to never have to pay for electricity again is $14,000.
- Over 6 years, you don’t pay $10,800 for electricity.
- Within 8 years you have saved the $14,000 that the system cost.
- These numbers again assume that electricity prices will stay the same, which they will not.
- From then on, you are generating your own clean energy and savings that never existed in the previous scenario.
- Your solar panel system has a guaranteed manufacturers warranty of 25 years and will realistically last at least 40 years.
- You’ve increased the value of your home and have helped the environment significantly by choosing to own your own energy.
If you care about your financial state and the environment, it’s obvious that the second scenario makes more sense. It’s important to keep in mind that these scenarios provide conservative numbers with longer payoff periods and lower electricity costs. This is because electricity prices are going to increase as Alberta phases out it’s cheapest source of electricity- coal-fired electricity plants and as the carbon tax starts to become a reality.
Even with these extremely conservative numbers, the economics are there regarding installing solar energy on your house. Keep in mind that each system is designed to be custom tailored to your house’s architecture as well as your family’s energy needs- these numbers are from a case-study we did of an average home in Edmonton. Regardless of the size of system designed for you, the payoff period stays the same and in certain cases is even reduced for larger systems due to economies of scale.
The concept behind owning versus renting your electricity can also be applied to solar heating applications which is more beneficial for homes that are being newly built due to the involvement with your house’s entire plumbing and heating system. Feel free to contact us to learn more about the many solar heating applications and advantages.
It’s time to stop renting your energy and to start saving energy and money so you can control your future. It’s time to start providing a cleaner planet for future generations. Own your energy, don’t rent it.