How Solar Power Can Help Retirement Planning
According to the Department of Labor, the average American spends twenty years in retirement. It's important that we start retirement planning ahead of time, and here are a few ways solar can make your retired life easier.
Solar Power is a Safe Longterm Investment
When thinking about retirement planning and investing, your mind likely wonders towards IRAs, 401Ks, and stocks – but what about investing in solar power? Historically, utility rates have risen 6% annually. When thinking about buying or leasing solar from Baker Electric Solar, think about it this way: you're paying a fixed price per kilowatt-hour for the electricity generated by your solar array for the life of the system (25 years). Purchasing, of course, will give you a lower cost per kilowatt over leasing, but both are still cheaper than the utility rates for qualified solar customers.
So while the utilities will likely continue to raise their prices, a homeowner with solar has a locked-in rate. With a purchased or prepaid lease system, the payoff period could be as little as four years, depending on your electricity usage, meaning free electricity for the remaining life of the system. With a lease, there's no heavy upfront cost and you'll make monthly installments for twenty years – and with our lease option there's no escalator, so that rate stays the same the entire twenty years.
Most of our customers will save 25-75% on electricity for the lifetime of their system because they switched to solar. For some, that means tens-of-thousands of dollars in savings.
Solar Power Helps You Manage Monthly Expenses
Whether you purchase or lease your solar, you'll have the peace of mind knowing that your electricity bill is covered. With a cash purchase or prepaid lease, there of course is no management of expenses month-to-month, just a payment to, or receipt of payment from, the utility company once a year during your "True-Up."
With a traditional solar lease, you'll make fixed monthly payments that will never change for twenty years. This will help in financial planning during those twenty years of retirement noted earlier.
Solar Power Increases Home Value in California
I wrote about this topic earlier this year and you can read the full blog post here. Basically, a study out of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that homes in California that had solar panels installed sold for a higher premium than those without. The study concluded that every kilowatt of solar power installed on a home increased the home's value by $5,911. If selling your home is part of your retirement plan, consider adding solar panels before doing so.
Solar Power Can Help You Save Money Now
Curious what the current rates are from SDG&E? Below are the Winter Rates as of Aug 2014 (cost is in cents/kilowatt-hour):
Tier 1 – 16
Tier 2 -18
Tier 3 -33
Tier 4 -35
*UPDATE: Current winter rates as of January 1, 2016
Tier 1 – 18
Tier 2 – 20
Tier 3 – 38
Tier 4 – Dissolved
If you're spending an average of $120 a month or more on electricity, you should consider making the switch to solar. Solar power in San Diego can be purchased, financed, or leased for rates lower than the utility average. Solar can help free up some extra cash every month to be saved or invested and should be a consideration in every retirement plan.
Start your retirement planning with solar today by getting a free solar quote! Our solar energy consultants are ready to help you assess your finances and see if solar is a good option for you.