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Utility Electric versus Solar Energy

Purchasing electric from your local utility company might be the easiest, most common way to power your home or business, but there are other options available to choose from.

 

One of the options available is solar energy. Both options will provide the necessary energy needed to power your property, but the pros and cons vary for both.

 

Being solar energy experts and dealing with thousands of customers over the last 11+ years, we’ve seen plenty of situations where solar saves people tons of money and lots of situations where sticking with the utility company made more sense. We will always steer our customers in the direction that is best for them.

 

Utility Electric vs. Solar Energy: Which one is better for you?

Utility Electric and solar energy are both great options for providing your property with energy. Both sources have pros and cons, but picking the one that is best for you will depend on your energy requirements and financial goals.

Below is a recap of the pros and cons and a 30 year cost breakdown for both options. Use this information to pick the option that will best help you achieve your goals.

 

The Pros and Cons

Utility Electric

Pros:

  • It's easy to use and is already set up in most cases
  • No upfront money or investment is required
  • It’s the most popular option
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Cons:

  • No control over the cost
  • More expensive than solar on a long-term basis
  • No tax benefits
  • Limited choices on where your energy comes from - petroleum, coal, or natural gas

 

Solar Energy:

Pros:

  • Provides short and long-term savings
  • Creates tax relief with the 26% federal tax credit and depreciation
  • Independent of the utility company - you own it
  • Increased property value for solar ownership
  • It’s clean and sustainable

Cons:

  • High upfront cost
  • Extra effort is needed to setup (research solar, pick an installation company, etc)
  • It’s not for everyone - cost, limited space, and shading are a few roadblocks

 

A cost comparison between utility electric and a solar energy system

Below is a breakdown of the cost and potential savings of continuing to purchase electricity from the utility company versus purchasing a solar energy system. These numbers will vary based on your location and the utility company that you’re connected with. The numbers are representative of the average situation.

 

Average Monthly Electric Bill 30 Year Cost of Electricity From The Utility Company 30 Year Cost of Solar Energy (after the tax incentives) The Difference
$60 $29,116 $20,219 $8,897 savings with solar
$120 $58,231 $29,836 $28,395 savings with solar
$600 $246,363 $81,558 $164,805 savings with solar
$1,200 $492,726 $145,526 $347,200 savings with solar
$2,400 $985,452 $265,148 $720,304 savings with solar

 

If you would like to learn more about solar or you’re not sure which is best for you, download our solar buying guide or contact us today for more information.

Download our solar buying guide.

Andy Schell

Andy has been working in the solar industry for over three years and has completed Solar PV101 training through Solar Energy International. He serves as the Marketing Manager at Paradise Energy Solutions, working from our corporate headquarters in Paradise, PA.

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