Solar Power: For The Masses Or The Wealthy?

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June 30, 2016

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The barriers for entry to solar power are beginning to be torn down, and solar is cheaper than ever (a full solar installation can cost as little as 57 cents per watt), but, even so, it still hasn’t quite made the jump to the masses yet.

For example, as Fast Co. reports, SolaPulse, a data analytics company, took a look at over 11,000 California households and discovered homes with solar are worth an average of $633,500. Homes without solar were worth just $346,900. There was also a gap in income levels, albeit a smaller one, as solar households earned an average of $117,400 while non-solar households earned $86,800.

However, the average price of a house with solar power has dropped from $848,200 between 2006 and 2011 to $605,400 between 2012 and 2016. The number of new solar households per year has grown substantially, too. Across 20 California zip codes, the number of annual solar installations has grown almost ten times in the past five years. In 2015, the number of installations was 3,114. Back in 2009, that number was just 109.

A big part of what is driving the change is that deciding to get integrate solar power is no longer just an environmental decision, but a financial one. Solar power is becoming a way for homeowners to save money. If solar power continues to trend in the direction it is going, there is a good chance it will become more and more common in neighborhoods across the country.

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