It’s no secret that America is in the midst of an energy transformation. With the rise of renewable energy sources and the increasing popularity of electric cars, our electricity grid is under more strain than ever before. Utilities are now required to make costly updates to their infrastructure, and customers can expect to see higher power bills as a result.
In a recent article, the Wall Street Journal warned that “increased spending is expected to result in higher electricity bills, as utilities are typically allowed to recoup the cost of capital investments, as well as a rate of return, from customers after receiving regulatory approval.”
So what does this mean for the average American consumer? Well, if you’re already struggling to make ends meet, higher electricity bills may be the last thing you need. However, there are ways to prepare for and offset these increases.
First, take a look at your energy usage and see where you can cut back. There’s no need to sacrifice your comfort or lifestyle, but small changes can make a big difference. For example, consider switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, or turning off lights and appliances when you’re not using them.
You can also take advantage of government programs that offer assistance with energy costs. In many states, low-income families can qualify for utility discounts or subsidies. And at the federal level, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides financial assistance to families who are struggling to pay their energy bills.
A more long-term solution may be to consider going Solar. Solar has never been more affordable, the payment plans often are lower than your current monthly payment for your utility bill. Solar also ads significant value to your home, with up to $4 per watt installed. That equates to about a $15,000 premium for a typical PV system.
The truth is, even if you are not considering putting solar panels on your roof, you are going to pay to go solar. You are either going to put that money into adding value to your property or you’re going to pay the utility company to build out their solar infrastructure on your dime.
What do you think about this issue? Share your thoughts in the comments below.