High electricity rates push US homeowners to consider solar

    pv magazine - Mercados y tecnología de energía solar

    Rising electricity rates, grid instability, environmental concerns and falling solar costs are reasons for homeowners to go solar, according to research from Rocket Solar.

    From pv magazine United States

    The cost of electricity is rising in states across the country. That, coupled with the increased frequency of long power outages, is pushing more Americans to consider solar power.

    Homeowners are challenged to stretch their budgets now with inflation, supply chain challenges and rising interest rates. Rocket Solar’s study asked homeowners what household essentials they spend more on today than they did a year ago, with 61% saying electricity, trailing only food (85%) and ahead of commuting (39%).

    According to the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), in May of this year, the average household paid $0.1492/kWh for domestic electricity service, which represents an average increase of 5% compared to 2021. The increase it was substantially higher in some parts of the country, such as New Hampshire, which saw rates soar close to 50%.

    While paying the electricity bill is now a serious concern for many, having an unstable network is another concern. The EIA reports that in 2020 the average electricity customer in the United States experienced just over 8 hours of outages, the most since records began in 2013. As of mid-July 2022, 44% of homeowners had already experienced at least one power outage this year, and an additional 4.9% said they expected to have one but had not yet. Of them, 64.8% have suffered at least two or more outages in 2021.

    “Power outages affect my family a lot because we have a nine-month-old baby,” said one homeowner. “If the electricity goes out, I worry a lot. We live where the heat index reaches 37 degrees and I cannot have my baby living in those conditions.”

    Nearly three-quarters of homeowners surveyed said they believe solar power would lower their electric bill, and nearly 30% said they would consider installing solar if their electric bills continue to rise. This option is even more attractive for the respondents in the study, since electricity rates increase and the costs of solar energy decrease. An additional incentive is the recently passed Inflation Reduction Law, which increases the investment tax credit to 30% for the next ten years.

    Aside from cost savings, just over 17% cited the environment as a reason for going solar. For 10% of those surveyed, another reason to opt for solar energy is the possible increase in the value of their home.

    The survey was conducted in July, when the company surveyed 1,560 single-family homeowners. The sample was controlled and divided equally between a combined sample of Generation Z and millennials, Generation X and baby boomers. To ensure that participants had a clear understanding of their electric bill, those who were not individually responsible for their electric bill or who did not have a significant person responsible for their electric bill were excluded from the study.

    Rocket Solar is part of the Rocket family, which includes Rocket Mortgage, Homes, Loans and Auto. Rocket Solar has partnered with Palmetto, which leverages proprietary platform technology and energy intelligence solutions to accelerate the sale and adoption of clean energy. Palmetto connects homeowners with local sales and installation specialists to advance the clean energy economy in communities across the United States.

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