Price for hydro going up, solar going down

Duncan – Re: Solar is stupid If you are interested in investing in a solar system for your home, there are some things to consider.

Even though solar is still a long term investment, installing a residential solar system will add value to your home while you start saving on your electricity bill annually. So even for those who are retired, you won’t lose the investment when you sell the home.

As for the cost, over the past 40 years, globally the price of a solar panel per watt has fallen from US$101.05 in 1975 to US$0.61 today. Water concerns and Hydro’s increasing rates makes solar generation a cost-effective alternative. In 2013, BC Hydro announced that electricity rates would increase 28 per cent over five years.

The more that solar costs fall and demand increases along with increasing rates, the less time it will take for solar installations to pay for themselves – currently estimated at about 15 years, with a four to six per cent rate of return.

This depends on various factors (number of panels, installation costs, your energy use, etc.) but some have noted, it’s still more than your average RSP or GIC.

Solar isn’t just for homes, it can be used for many applications such as local infrastructure (e.g. street lights,

boats, etc.) or even for smaller uses when going camping or charging your devices. The point is, those who have invested in solar already know that solar is an economically viable energy solution.

Yes, it’s also an alternative to fossil fuels and is only one option when considering alternative energy, but it’s a start. There are many ways communities have invested in solar throughout Canada and not all meant increasing costs to taxpayers. One Cowichan explores these different options in their solar recommendations report found on their site at www.onecowichan.ca/solar_info

Amanda MacNeil Duncan