Ameren Illinois recently announced that the average residential customer will see a $626 annual increase in electricity costs on the power supply side of the bill or an average of $52 or more per month (approximately 40% increase) throughout the year. The price increase will occur on June 1, 2022. According to other analyses, small businesses may experience a 50% to 130% increase in their rates. There is a solution available to defend against utility rate hikes: solar energy. Here are 4 ways solar energy for your home or business can protect against rising electricity bills.

 

1. Solar Energy Locks Your Cost of Energy

A solar PV system generates energy over the typical 25-30 year life of the system. Over this timeframe, the cost of solar energy to your home is fixed, known as Levelized Cost of Energy. The cost of these solar-generated kilowatts are determined by the net cost of the system minus federal and state incentives (net cost), divided by the energy produced. For instance, if your $12,500 system (after incentives) produces 19,800 kilowatt hours a year, the Levelized Cost of Energy would be 4.6 cents a kilowatt across 30 years. In many cases, the cost of self-generated energy is a fraction of what the utility charges to your home. 

Solar Levelized Cost of Energy

2. Solar Generates a Return on Investment

A well-functioning solar array can reduce your home’s energy costs. When factoring in the annual cost savings from solar energy, an average array in Illinois can pay for itself in 8 to 12 years. The remaining life of the system is providing free energy to your home. That could be an additional 15 years of free energy!

Solar Cash Flow Chart

3. Net Metering Provides Credit for Your Energy Production

Net metering is the exchange of energy between your solar PV system and the utility. When excess energy is generated during the day, your utility credits those kilowatts in your account for future use, such as nighttime. If you continue to produce more than you use, the utility will pay you for the extra energy sent to the grid either monthly or at the end of the year. Each utility has different net metering policies, and your StraightUp Solar Project Developer will clearly explain their rules. For more on net metering and how to read your bill see our blog post and videos for Illinois  and Missouri net metering.

 

4. Battery Storage Saves Solar Energy for Nighttime Use

For homeowners, battery storage is another tool to capture and use your own energy. If you live in an area with time of use charges, you can use the energy stored from your battery during the day for nighttime use and save those net metering credits for another day. Battery backup protects your home’s essential loads in times of power outages. Find out more about Battery Storage here.

Watch our webinar “Solar + Battery = Protect Your Home” to learn more about a solar + battery solution.

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