Solar vs Utility: What are the costs?

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Utility power is more expensive than solar due to the added cost of fuel, transmission, labor, billing, customer service, continuous investment, maintenance, losses, taxes and profit. The assumption that economy of scale of a utility would result in lower costs for electricity does not hold true.

Most of the power generated by public utility companies requires that fuel – coal, natural gas, oil or uranium – be purchased and consumed to generate electricity.

Solar power utilizes free energy from the sun.

Electricity is likely generated in the utility’s facilities located hundreds of miles from your property, requiring the further expense of transmission and distribution systems to deliver power. There are losses due to resistance in the wires, representing a further cost that must be passed on to consumers.

Solar panels are located on your home, where the electricity is needed. No additional cost or loss.

Power generating plants, transmission and distribution systems require manpower to operate, incur costs to maintain, administer and manage. Having customers requires utilities to spend of meters, billing, advertising, public/ governmental relations and service.

Solar panels are virtually maintenance-free, warrantied and guaranteed, with no manpower, administration or management costs.

As demand for electricity increases, and infrastructure ages, significant amounts must be spent by the utility, and these costs are passed along to the consumer in the form of regular rate increases.

With your solar power investment, no additional expense is incurred for a minimum of 25 years, and up to 40 years or more, with no increase in the price of electricity generated by solar over this period.

Utility power is taxed by the regulator, state, county and city. The utility must return a profit to its shareholders on investments made, which in turn increases the price of electricity charged to the consumer.

Property owners receive tax credits when investing in solar power and pay no taxes.

Expect to pay a fixed price of 4 to 5 cents per kWh for 30+ years investing in solar for your property. In Arizona, the average APS customer pays about 12 cents per kWh, and after 30 years this could easily be 20 or 25 cents per kWh based on historical increases.

Which would you rather pay?

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