March 1, 2015

Solar is a better investment than the stock market


study by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center finds that in all but 4 of the 50 largest cities in the U.S., installing a fully-financed 5 kilowatt solar panel system makes more financial sense than investing in a popular stock market index fund. 
Further, the same system would beat the costs of buying energy from local utilities in 42 of those 50 cities. 
Boston is ranked the #2 city for solar in the country for immediate average monthly savings, the relative value of investing in solar versus the S&P 500, and the levelized cost of solar energy compared to local utility rates. 
"(S)olar is now ...a real opportunity for anyone looking to take greater control over their monthly utility bills and make a long-term, relatively low-risk investment," concludes the study which was done under funding by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Looking at the levelized cost of energy for solar PV systems (the average cost per kilowatt over the expected 25-year life span), the NC Clean Energy Technology Center's study found that nearly 21 million homeowners in 42 of the nation's largest cities would save money with financed solar systems over getting their power from the grid.
For average homeowners, the study concludes, "solar can generate both significant monthly savings and long-term investment value, and not infrequently, cost less than energy from some of America's largest electric utilities."

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