If you had the chance to save ten percent on energy month after month, what would you think? What could you do with that money? We break down the numbers so you can make a decision for yourself.
You see an advertisement for a community solar garden that will save you 10 percent on your monthly electric bill. Maybe it comes from Solstice, maybe a solar developer or a utility. You do a little quick math to figure out how much 10 percent would save you each month: probably somewhere between $6 and $15.
Hm…that might not seem like so much.
If you’re going to sign up for something new, you’d better get worthwhile returns. That leads us to the question: are 10 percent savings on energy worthwhile?
How Much Money Can 10% Save You?
I’d be remiss not to mention that, for most of our customers, savings aren’t the only reason they join their local community solar garden. They want to contribute positively to their environment and their community through a free program, and the fact that they save money on top of that is an added bonus. Still, that doesn’t change the question: is signing up financially worthwhile?
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average electric bill across all 50 states in 2017 was $111.67. While bills vary significantly by state and household, we’ll take the average American as our case study.
Savings of 10 percent on that bill would earn you $11.17 per month, or $134.04 in your first year. If you extrapolate that out over time, you find those savings add up:
If you choose to stay on for the length of a standard project, you’re looking at over $4,000 in savings! And that’s relatively conservative for many Americans–our typical New York customer saves about $4,300 over 30 years, while 10 percent would save the average Hawaii resident about $5,375.
If you own multiple properties, you can expect savings like this on each and every one of your meters. Some of our most thrilled customers will see thousands of dollars off their bills for multiple households. While that isn’t as much as they’d expect to save with rooftop panels, it’s certainly nothing to sniff at, either.
Now, it’s worth noting that customers’ savings may not amount to exactly 10 percent of their monthly bill. Your basic service charge, depending on its size, could bring your monthly savings down a dollar or two. If you’re signing up for a project and that’s the case, we’ll talk you through exactly how much you’ll end up saving. Regardless, it won’t make a big dent in your overall results or in our calculations here.
What Can You Do With Those Savings?
We’ve put together a little list of purchases that you can pay for with your savings over the life of a typical community solar project.
- 32 months (almost 3 years) of electricity
- 83 Yankees games (or Red Sox games–your preference, really)
- 958 pounds of buffalo wings
- Not into buffalo wings? That’s fair. How about 1 cup of homemade coffee, every day, for the next 137 years?
- A vacation to Patagonia with beautiful views of the Andes. A flight home, a feeling of nostalgia, and a second trip to do it all again.
Whether you’re more interested in free coffee for the rest of your life or a beautiful vacation, community solar can free up the funds to make these things happen.
Investing Your Energy Savings
If you’re fortunate enough not to need the money right now, you can invest it. You might be amazed how much it compounds! Here’s a simple example:
Let’s take the average American’s bill again (111.67). Investing those community solar savings each month with a typical stock market return of 8 percent earns you the following:
Hopefully, those 10 percent savings sound a little more appealing now. Small savings here and there, over time, can go so far as to send your child to college. All it takes is a simple monthly deposit with average market success.
For Many, 10 Percent Goes a Long Way Today
For some, ten percent savings only become exciting as they add up over time.
For others, those monthly savings make a huge difference right away.
One of Solstice’s early customers, Josie, signed on when she had a two year old and another baby on the way. She rented her home, and didn’t think solar was within reach. New parents face higher financial burdens, and savings go a long way.
Josie’s immediate benefits aren’t a rare case. In fact, 31 percent of American households have a hard time paying for their energy. For these people especially, 10 percent savings can make a critical impact right from the start.
Regardless of where you stand today, why turn down recurring, reliable savings?
Interested In Getting Started?
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