Solar panels on homes provide benefits to all ratepayers

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Solar panels connected to the grid reduce the amount of electricity utilities must purchase from fossil fuel-fired power plants

July 21, 2015

Recent research belies claims that residential solar panels owners are benefiting at the expense of other ratepayers, says Rob Sargent, energy program director for Environment America.

When people put solar panels on their rooftops and in their neighborhoods through programs like net-metering, they reduce the strain on the electric grid, lower prices for all electric customers, and cut pollution, Sargent contends.

Solar panels connected to the grid reduce the amount of electricity utilities must generate or purchase from fossil fuel-fired power plants and reduce the amount of energy lost in generation, long-distance transmission and distribution, he says.

By reducing overall demand, solar energy production helps ratepayers and utilities avoid investing in new power plants, transmission lines, and other forms of electricity infrastructure.

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