Solar panels can save the average homeowner a substantial amount of money on their utility bills. While nearly anyone can appreciate that, it means a lot to those who are on a fixed income, notably, retirees. And when you consider that the baby boomer generation is reaching retirement age and thousands are retiring each and every year, savings on energy bills could be huge for sustaining retirement savings for longer and adding some predictability to future living expenses.
For the purposes of this blog, let’s assume you are an older American (age 55 or older) who is looking into whether or not solar is a good idea for your home. Roughly 28 percent of all Americans fall into this category now, a percentage larger than ever before thanks to increases in medical technology, better understanding of health, and a number of other factors that have increased life expectancy dramatically. Of this 28 percent, nearly 80 percent of these people own their home and nearly 90 percent want to stay in their home as they grow older and into their golden years.
This will hopefully help you see some of the benefits and how switching over to solar can help you enjoy your retirement with less stress and less money out of your pocket.
Rising Energy Costs
It’s widely expected that the average American who is either retiring now, has recently retired, or is planning on retiring within the next few years will likely be in their home for decades after. More time in your own home is great because that means more time to enjoy doing the things that you love in the freedom of the home you’ve worked so hard to build and pay off.
However, it does mean you’ll still have living expenses, including utility bills. Utility costs tend to rise over time, in fact recent trends have suggested that the rates have gone up around 3.5 percent per year. That means someone who retires today at the age of 60 while paying around $1,500 per year in energy costs (or around $125 per month) will pay nearly $3,500 per year by the time they turn 85 (nearly $300 per month)! That’s assuming you’ll use the same amount of energy each month as well.
While our energy-consuming devices are getting more efficient and eco-friendly, the average homeowner has actually increased their electricity demand as we acquire more and more devices that make our lives easier and more comfortable. The truth is that same amount of energy 15 years from now could be as much as $400 per month or more! When you’re on a limited income, that’s a huge jump that many people may not be able to afford!
How Much Does Solar Cost?
The average cost of a kilowatt-hour of electricity in the U.S. is roughly about 13 cents. When the average senior consumes around 9,850 kilowatt hours of energy per year, that’s where you get the average energy cost of around $1,500 per year. To be able to produce that amount of energy through solar means, you’ll need a seven kilowatt solar energy array, which costs about $25,000 before incentives. However, those incentives can bring the actual cost down quite a bit. Your actual cost may be higher or lower depending on your needs, which is why you should talk to a New Jersey solar installer about your home and they’ll help you through the process.
Of course, $25,000 is quite a lot of money, but the thing is you may be able to recoup that in terms of savings alone. There are several ways you can fund the cost of your solar panel system. For one, some people choose to cash out a portion of their retirement savings and use it to buy their solar panel system outright. This is a great because you start seeing ultra-low utility bills almost immediately, the savings pays your investment back in an extremely short amount of time, and you enjoy even greater savings for the next three decades or more! In fact, the savings only gets bigger and bigger every year as utility rates continue to rise!
There are a few different options you can use to pay for the cost of switching to solar without having to buy the entire system outright. First, you can purchase the solar energy system with a loan. There are a number of loan options available that include a variety of payment options, terms, interest rates, and much more. Depending on your budget and how much you want to pay per month, there are a number of different loan options out there, including several publically-funded loans.
Finally, your last option is you could choose to lease your panels. A lease agreement doesn’t actually give you ownership of your panels—SunPower continues to own the panels. However, you pay a monthly “rent” to use the panel system and keep the energy that the panels produce. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of solar for a reduced monthly cost that remains static over the term of the lease. And the best part: if anything goes wrong with your panels for a guaranteed period of 20 years, SunPower will fix the issue for you, completely free of charge.
Learn more about saving money during retirement by switching to solar by calling the New Jersey solar installers at SunPower by Sea Bright Solar today at (732) 253-4052!