Solar panels don’t just benefit those who have them, solar power benefits everyone when the economic, social, health, and environmental costs and benefits are accounted for.
The economic benefits of supporting solar energy outweigh the costs and do not impose a significant cost increase for non-solar customers.
Residential and commercial solar power installations actually keep utility costs lower. Despite claims from utilities that solar energy unfairly burdens their business, solar power installations improved performance and save money. Solar power provides a net benefit not only for non-solar customers, but also for utility providers.
Benefits to Utilities
Solar power installations can save both utilities and consumers money on infrastructure costs because they reduce the need for new infrastructure. While utilities do have fixed costs that we collectively pay for, these costs are not truly “fixed.” In actuality, the need for them depends on the demand for electricity. Privately-owned, grid-tied rooftop solar power systems can reduce that need.
The generation of solar energy by consumers also prevents utilities from having to increase the capacity the capacity of the power plants. Solar energy production also reduces wear and tear on the grid, power lines, and power plants in addition to reducing environmental compliance costs for utility providers. Rooftop solar can reduce strain on the system on hot days that might otherwise overload the grid, which prevents energy shortages and blackouts, extends the life of utility equipment, and saves money for everyone.
Despite all of benefits utilities receive from the expansion of solar power, they continue to claim that solar power and net metering have increased energy costs for non-solar customers. This contradicts multiple studies conducted by state public utility commissions across the country that show that solar power benefits everyone.
Health & Environmental Benefits
Creating positive environmental change is more important than ever before. The environmental benefits of solar power create a cleaner planet for everyone. Solar power creates clean, renewable energy that reduces pollution and reduces our dependency on fossil fuels, and reduces our production of greenhouse gasses that contribute to global climate change.
Going solar is a great way to reduce your personal carbon footprint. The average residential solar power system will eliminate three to four tons of carbon emissions annually. This is equivalent to planting 100 trees every year.
Here’s the great thing about solar power – less pollution and cleaner air benefit everyone, not just those with solar panels. The adoption of solar power is a huge shared benefit when the health and environmental benefits of a reduction in pollution and green house gas production are taken into consideration.
Obviously, plenty of benefits exist for those who decide to go solar, such as eliminating electricity bills and gaining energy independence. However, solar energy provides health, environmental, and cost-savings benefits for both solar and non-solar customers alike. This means that solar power customers actually share some of their benefits with their community! While utilities continue to demonize solar power in an effort to protect their monopolies, it is clear that solar power benefits everyone!