How Home Owners Are Paying Next to Nothing for Solar Panels in 2015

What's your electric bill this month -- $200? $250? More? I have foolishly let "Big Energy" sell me electricity and my monthly bill is higher than the GNP of France.

Wake up any tech CEO in the middle of the night and ask what his or her fondest wish would be, and the answer would be "a monopoly." For the longest time, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, and Cisco had near monopolies, and their CEOs slept well at night. The greatest advantage: You can make mistakes, be late to market, have quality problems, and still own your market.

The Electricity Monopoly

The electricity industry has never really had direct competition. Because of this they have been able to get away with unfair billing practices and notoriously bad customer service. Have you ever read your entire electric bill? If not, don't worry, you're in good company. The details can be confusing, frustrating, overwhelming, and yes, boring - which is why most bills include a separate "Guide to Understanding Your Electric Bill." But,let's be honest, even if you don't understand your bill, does it really matter? Electricity has been a Take it or Leave it proposition for decades.

Until now. To put it in the words of Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A Changin'. In this population, we are all undeniably individuals, but one self-evident truth among most of us is that our electricity bill is too high. But what can we do about it? Actually, quite a bit. Big Energy spends millions of dollars in advertising trying to convince you that they are the only game in town. But in fact, this is not the case. Consumers now have a formidable energy alternative - Solar. And it creates major savings for you and the Earth. In the past few years alone, solar's key driving forces have all made significant progress:

  • Environmental -- The sun is Earth's strongest, most predictable and sustainable power source. No Sun = No Earth.  

  • Demand -- Homeowners are going solar in record numbers. Also, it's good for your home's resale value.

  • Government Incentives -- Catalyst for solar development (supply); likewise, tax programs are driving consumer demand.

In a short period of time, solar has become a very affordable and compelling alternative for American homeowners. When it comes to savings, performance, reliability, and service, solar has already surpassed traditional Electric providers. Now is an ideal time to go solar because of some remarkable incentives that will likely vanish in a more mature market.

Solar is not a fad. Within a few years, it is predicted that Solar Energy will be ubiquitous across US homes, just like microwaves and the internet. Solar is also your cleanest option. The carbon footprint of a solar residence is dramatically smaller. Here are a few more reasons to consider making the move to solar:

  • Little to $0 Upfront -- Alternatives for free installation, leasing, and financing allow you to start saving on day 1

  • Bills Drop 80% -- The exact savings amount will depend on the size of your house and its sun exposure, but 50% to 80% savings is the norm

  • Predictable Rates -- The sun is and always will be predictable. Rates are not subject to market-driven ebbs and flows

  • Tax Breaks -- Through 2016, federal (and some state) credits are available. Early adopters will reap major benefits

What Advantages Can I Expect By Going Solar?

When homeowners begin to research solar, many are shocked at what they find. Getting started is remarkably easy. The upfront costs are much less than expected; in fact, it's often $0 to get started. Most consumers will start to save money on day 1. Typical monthly savings can be 50-80% per month, which adds up to thousands of dollars per year.

If you own a home with a roof, then now is the perfect time to go solar.

Words by Paul Sanders for