Top Four Ways Solar Saves Money And Makes You Weird
By Bill Roth
Solar sales are breaking records in California. The electric utilities are fighting to contain this genie before it truly escapes the bottle. Solar companies are conducting fierce price wars to win customers. Regulators are pushing customers, solar companies and utilities to figure out how to package solar and batteries to deliver both lower costs and increased reliability. And customers love it!
Three reasons why people install solar systems
Here are the top three reasons I have heard from homeowners on why they installed a solar system:
- Reduces my electric bills
- Frees me from the utility company
- I feel good about using clean energy.
The ability to reduce electricity costs is the absolute number reason why solar is booming in California. Today, homeowners can buy a solar system and get a guarantee that they will receive a lower electric bill. Even better, they can finance the system with zero down. Guaranteed lower electric bills, zero down and protection for twenty years against utility rate hikes. Now you know why utilities across the country are fighting customer owned solar!
So many solar customers I have talked to see investing in solar as liberating. You can literally see joy on the faces of homeowners as they sign their solar contract. During the sales process they will often tell stories about their frustration with a utility’s service interruptions, controlling attitude or price increases.
65% of Americans are convinced that global warming is real and manmade. Most moms believe pollution is really bad for their kids. Buying solar makes people feel good about themselves. Typical solar customers believe utilities are not doing enough to protect their families from pollution and climate change. Buying solar is their path to making a difference.
Four ways solar makes you weird and saves money
What I have observed is that people who buy solar start getting “weird.” When they see how they are saving money on their electric bills they ask themselves if they could save more? This leads to weird behavior number one. Many solar homeowners lease electric cars. Their reasoning is that they can use their electric bill savings to pay the lease on the electric car. They can then fuel the electric car for free using their solar system. Weird, right? Like a fox!
Weird action number two is solar homeowners removing natural gas from their homes. The first to go is often the natural gas water heater and space heaters. Electric ones are installed that operate off the solar system. Natural gas prices are really low right now but it is hard to be price competitive against “free” solar electricity!
Weird action number three is that solar customers love their summer air conditioning. They size their solar system to be comfortable and still pay less than what they were paying the utility. Now that battery systems are getting cheaper they are installing them to protect against potential summer time utility service interruptions. Batteries are still a pricey solution but it looks like a good deal if your neighbor has no power and is sweltering during a summer heatwave.
Finally, solar homeowners start getting weird in terms of conservation and sustainability. This doesn’t change them from being Republicans or conservatives. For them it falls into using common sense. Solar systems are significantly large capital investments. Adopting conservation practices will reduce the size, and total cost, of their solar system. Sustainability doesn’t seem like a political action if you are running your home and a car off of your roof top solar system. It is a best practice for saving money and improving human health.
Get weird, go solar, save money and make a difference
California homeowners are getting weird over solar. They are laughing all the way to the bank. They are feeling good about themselves for taking control over their energy lives. They are proud to be taking the initiative in protecting their family against pollution.
Maybe getting weird is what we all need to do!
Bill Roth, Founder of Earth 2017
This is the first of a series of articles I will be posting with Caelus. These articles will focus on how businesses and communities are achieving triple bottom line success.
I founded Earth 2017 to capture case studies and video interviews on how business and community leaders are achieving sustainable results. The Earth 2017 website, and the YouTube channel Earth 2017 TV, are free resource that hosts hundreds of business case studies and video interviews.
I have also published two books. The Secret Green Sauce is my best selling book that profiles how actual businesses are using sustainable best practices to win customers and grow profits.
The Boomer Generation Diet is my newest book. Think CSR meets HR. This books is a lifestyle blue print for achieving sustained weight loss, having fun and living more+. It also explains the concepts of sustainability with humor and a personal story. For the CSR director it is a tool that will engage work associates on sustainability. For the HR director it is a tool for enabling sustained weight loss among work associates that can lower health care costs and enhance work associate productivity.