Headshot image of chris dixon by: Chris Dixon

blog post
by: Chris Dixon

Solar Energy Benefits Everyone in Society

June 13, 2016

As a global society, we have come to the realization that new forms of energy generation are required. Future models of energy generation must move beyond the traditional monopoly structures, such as San Diego Gas & Electric and other investor-owned utilities, which generate a majority of their power from burning fossil fuels.

The current energy-generation model benefits very few in society, yet causes serious negative implications impacting upon our national security, as highlighted by the global oil conflict and our health as a consequence of climate change.

There is a fairer and more equitable way for us to generate the energy we consume. Solar energy offers a solution which benefits everyone, even those who do not go solar. Tweet This Fact

Solar Benefits Everyone

The economic benefits of supporting solar energy actually outweigh the costs and impose no significant cost increase for non-solar customers.  A 2013 report from Vermont’s Public Service Department outlined that net-metered solar customers do not impose a significant cost to non-solar customers. In fact, a report from the Nevada PUC estimated a net benefit of $166 million over the lifetime of solar systems installed through 2016.

In contrast to the utilities’ claims that net metering unfairly supports solar customers is a 2014 report from Minnesota’s PUC, which concluded that net metering undervalued rooftop solar.

Far from a net cost, solar energy actually provides a net benefit not only for non-solar customers but also for the utilities. Despite claims from utilities that solar energy represents an unfair burden for their business, solar energy in fact results in cost savings and improved performance.

Increased solar energy generation enables utilities to avoid the expensive requirement to increase power plant capacity. Tweet This Fact

In addition, solar energy reduces wear and tear on the electric grid, power lines and power plants and reduces environmental compliance costs for the utility.

Despite this, utilities claim that supporting the growth of solar energy, primarily through net metering, has resulted in an additional cost to those customers who have not gone solar. However, this claim is contradictory to findings from multiple studies which have been conducted by state public utility commissions across the country.

These findings prove that solar energy benefits all customers when the economic, social and environmental costs and benefits are accounted for.

Societal and Economic Benefits of Solar

Ultimately, the main challenge for utilities is adapting to the reality that the way people relate to energy is changing. Previously, people were seen by the utilities as merely passive consumers; however, as the solar energy revolution comes into full effect, people are realizing the cost-saving potential of going solar in addition to the wider benefits for everyone else in society.

As expected, immense benefits exist for those who decide to go solar, not limited to eliminating your electricity bill and gaining energy independence. However, solar energy provides societal and economy wide benefits for both solar and non-solar customers.

While utilities may claim the opposite to protect their current monopoly-based structures, several cost benefit studies conducted across the country demonstrate a net benefit for everyone.

When you’re ready to learn more on the potential benefits that solar energy can provide you and your community, contact our team at Sullivan Solar Power.

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