The long-term trend for electricity prices is UP! Over the past 20 years, electricity prices have risen between 2.5% and 7% every year. Obviously, eliminating or significantly reducing these costs will save a lot of money. That’s one reason why solar panel systems are attractive to home and business owners. Another closely related reason why home and business owners go solar is to protect themselves against rising prices and to make their bills more predictable. With solar you produce your own energy—for free—so it takes away all the anxiety that’s associated with rising and fluctuating energy prices.
Let’s assume electricity prices will rise 5% annually. The typical U.S. home spends about $1,200/year on electricity. That means if you buy a system that meets 100% of your electricity needs today, you will have an extra $1,200 in your pocket a year from now. The following year, when prices go up, you’ll save $1,260, the year after that you’ll save $1,323 and so on for the life of your panels (25-40 years). Over the life of the solar power system, these savings can add up to over $30,000. Conversely, if you don’t buy a solar power system, these numbers represent your opportunity cost of waiting (i.e. your lost savings).
Even if you finance your solar panel system using a solar loan, solar lease, solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) or other financing options (many of which require no out-of-pocket upfront expense) you still will have a monthly expense. Now, however, that expense will no longer vary. It will be the amount of your loan or lease payment.
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