Buying Solar, Solar Farms


What’s the difference between
1) buying electricity from a utility company that produces electricity from solar or wind, and
2) making your own electricity with a solar or wind power system?

Both scenarios are good for the planet, reducing dependence on dirty, costly fossil fuels. But…

One scenario—buying and installing a solar electric system on your own home—promises that your electricity costs will be capped or eliminated, for the rest of your life. Consider the value of never having to pay another electricity bill, of knowing that you are living within your means. For those of us for whom independence is important, this is a crucial difference.

The other scenario—buying solar- or wind-farmed utility power—while technically good for the planet, will never make your electric bill go away. The initial costs of solar and wind farming are subsidized by federal and state monies AND by utility users. As costs for producing electricity by coal and nuclear continue to grow, utility users will also subsidize these costs. As long as you are buying from the utility company, your rates will always be hinged to the cost of producing electricity by nuclear and fossil fuels.

Now is the time of greatest opportunity for being your own electricity producer. Costs are probably as low as they can go and subsidies are as high as they’ll ever be. If you’re waiting for your utility to do it for you, if you’re waiting for some additional rebate or incentive, you may just miss the boat.