The greatest benefit for the owner is creating a clean, renewable form of energy right at home. Eighty percent of Indiana’s electricity is generated from central coal-fired plants, which results in double the carbon emissions of a typical Indiana household compared to their natural gas or automobile use. The main financial benefit comes from locking in the cost of electricity for the next several decades and removing uncertainty about future rate increases. Locally, annual rate increases are forecast to be about three percent a year.
Solar systems produce electricity long after they’ve paid for themselves. Solar panels manufactured in the 1970s still provide power. Solar assets appreciate in value if electric rates rise by more than one percent annually – the maximum rate at which cells in the panels degrade. Most PV panels carry a warranty guaranteeing that in year 25, the system will still generate at least 80 percent of what it did in the first year. The zero cost of fuel from the sun remains constant.
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