Solar Power vs. Electricity: Cost Considerations
Purchasing electricity from your local utility company is the most common way to power your residential or commercial property because it's as simple as making a phone call. However, solar power could save you more money in the long run. Examine the pros and cons of each option to decide which option is the most economical for your situation.
Electricity Pros and Cons
In most cases, your local utility company has a hookup to your property, so all it takes is a quick phone call to get you set up. However, you will be at the mercy of the utility company for any price fluctuations and power outages.
- It's simple to get started.
- There's no high up-front cost involved.
- Pricing is at the mercy of the market and can fluctuate considerably.
- Power from the grid is usually generated with fossil fuels.
- It's more expensive than solar in the long term.
Solar Power Pros and Cons
Solar power is generated by adding solar panels to the roof of a building to harness energy from the sun and turn it into electricity. It's a green alternative to the energy created by fossil fuels and is a step closer to being more energy-independent.
- Tax credit programs are available.
- Solar panels still work when the grid experiences outages.
- You own the power your solar panel generates and can often sell any surplus to the local utility company.
- Solar panels can increase your property value.
- Solar energy doesn't consume fossil fuels.
- You'll save money in the long run.
- It can be expensive to install.
- Capacity can be limited, especially in areas without ample sunlight.
- It takes extra effort to install compared to the utility company's service.
Which Is the Best Deal for Me?
When you're comparing the solar power and electricity cost, the winner will depend a lot on your location. Over time, solar power can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars, but that's only true if your property is in the right place. For the best chance of success, you should live in a sunny location and have a roof that has the right pitch, faces in the correct direction, and is free of obstacles like tall trees that could block the sun from reaching your solar panels. If you live somewhere that doesn't get much sun or have a heavily shaded roof, buying electricity from the grid might come out ahead.