By: Susan Kraemer
You don’t have to get a credit check to buy electricity from a utility. Now you don’t need one to buy your very own solar power supply either. A company in New Jersey is offering a solar PPA to homeowners to buy cheap power off their roof with no credit check.
Not only does this put paying a solar bill on an even playing field with paying an electric bill, but Sunergy is offering this arrangement for 25% of utility rates in the state. After a small down payment, their residential solar power purchase agreement enables homeowners to buy their electricity for $0.05 per kilowatt-hour in a state where utility electricity costs $0.20 per kilowatt-hour.
How can they do that? Isn’t solar more expensive than utility electricity? Well, no, actually, solar is cheaper.
One of the little known facts I discovered about solar during my experience doing solar estimates, is that solar is already far, far cheaper than utility energy. If you compare apples to apples: twenty five years to twenty five years.
It already truly does only cost 25% or less of what utility electricity costs… If you were to pay for all 25 years at once for utility electricity. Of course, you don’t. You pay monthly, and so you simply have no idea that you are paying more money over that time.
In New Jersey utility electricity rates have been going up about 6.5% annually. Say last year’s monthly bills averaged $100, this years will average to $106.50. But, with the seasonal ups and downs of electric bills you really never notice this sort of creeping inflation - yet it can really add up.
What I found was that someone who will spend about $100,000 on utility electricity for 25 years, typically needs about a $20,000 solar roof to replace their utility kilowatt-hours a month. Here’s my post with the rate charts for PG&E customers (6.7% rate rise): Solar is Really Cheaper than PG&E.
Sunergy has leveraged this fact to be able to offer homeowners a PPA that reflects that saving. A PPA is a power purchase agreement - like you have with your utility. The difference is: the power plant is on your roof. Just big enough for you. Like your utility, Sunergy owns the solar power plant, and sells you the power.
Kudos to this company for being the first to really demonstrate that solar is already cheaper.
“We all want to save the environment,” said US Solargy CEO David Wei, “and our company provides a way for everyone to participate in that important goal.”
Solar electricity is not just clean, sensible, climate-friendly electricity, but it is cheaper too.