By Jackie Edwards:
We all know the important role that renewable energy plays in protecting our planet for our children and grandchildren. One in particular, solar panels, also can be a great way to save money, and they constitute one of the most sure-fire retirement investments available.
You soon could be saving thousands of dollars yearly and adding to the value of your property at the same time. Who says it has to cost money to protect the environment?
Saving you money
There is a variety of financial benefits to installing solar panels, but the biggest one is that it will significantly reduce your electricity bill. The exact amount you can save depends on your circumstances and, of course, the typical amount of sunlight in your location, but you certainly can expect savings in the range of $80-$100 per month.
Some states offer Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs), allowing you to generate even more income through the energy you produce.
Protection against increasing energy prices
One certainty about energy prices is that they never get lower. Every year, we see utility companies increase their tariffs, and the latest forecasts by the US Energy Information Administration suggest that this pattern will continue over the coming years. By producing your own energy, you will to a large extent hedge against these future price increases.
Increased property value
In 2011, the US Department of Energy commissioned a study to evaluate the effect of solar panels on property prices. While the study focused on California, it is reasonable to conclude that a major premium on properties with their own solar power would apply across the USA.
It is also fair to assume that the increase of $17,000 to the average property value would be even higher today, given the further increases in utility prices and heightened consumer awareness since 2011.
Planning for the future
Retirement is a time for taking stock, and as we enter this new chapter in life, it is reassuring to know that we are doing all we can, for quality of life in our own retirement years and for that of our loved ones in the years to come.
By saving money, increasing the value of our property and doing our small bit for the planet’s future, solar energy really does tick all the boxes.
Working from home, Jackie Edwards is now a freelance writer and editor – having spent the first part of her career in the finance and banking sector. She now spends as much time as possible with her growing family and a selection of pets. In her free time she volunteers for a lot of local environmental causes”