Hello, my name is Sarah O’Connell, and I’m proud to be the newest team member at Creative Solar USA as their Marketing Executive. In my career, I’ve had a hand in several different industries from veteran organizations, nonprofits, and even car sales. Like many in Georgia’s emerging solar energy market, Creative Solar USA is my first career introduction to solar and the energy industry as a whole. After finding Creative Solar USA I was moved by their commitment to educating the public about solar power and all of its possibilities while still maintaining top-notch customer service. Needless to say, I was thrilled to be offered a position and I was ready to hit the ground running.
With every new endeavor, I do my best to understand not only the product but the industry’s ins and outs from top to bottom and what I found out in the solar industry in Georgia truly astonished me.
As a lifelong resident of Georgia, I’ve always taken great pride in being from the south, particularly the Atlanta region. From our famous pecans to our award-winning tourist attractions we have a lot to be proud of here in the Peach State however residential solar is not something about which we can toot our own horn.
With Georgia Power heading up the lead of energy utility providers the majority of us fall at their mercy when it comes to energy rates, however, solar would seem to be the solution to that. Unfortunately, though, it’s not that simple. What I have discovered from learning about the interworking of energy in Georgia is that the consumer’s best interests are not always taken into account by the power companies, to say the least.
For example, John Kraft wrote in an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (and then published by Matt Kempner at AJC) “The current basic service charge does not cover the costs to connect customers to our electrical grid that exists whether the customer uses any energy or not.” So even if you never use much energy, Georgia Power is asking you to pay the price for their grid.
But the fun doesn’t stop there folks, “Georgia Power wants state regulators to approve changes that would eventually add about $200 a year to average home electric bills. That doesn’t include expected higher rates once a multi-billion-dollar nuclear expansion is completed at Plant Vogtle.” according to Matt Kempner.
And it’s not difficult to assume who will have to pay for the Plant Vogtle project (which went way beyond the proposed budget). That’s right, you guessed it. You, and me). It must be nice to go over budget and have someone else pay for it, I wish that applied to Amazon shopping. I guess that means it’s not smart for everyone, huh? But I digress.
So why not just use solar you ask? This potential increase in the base charge could “dissuade some from adding rooftop solar” according to Lisa Bianchi-Fossati, who directs policy for the Southface Institute, an Atlanta nonprofit that advocates for clean energy and environmental sustainability. “It limits consumer control over how to manage their energy use and, therefore, it limits the impact of their choices on their energy bills,” she said.
Georgia once again stands at a crossroads. Do we stay imprisoned by the rates that Georgia Power declares we will pay? Or will we as a community and as a state band together for better options for energy consumption? Maybe then Georgia could catch up to other states who offer sensible solar policies including state tax credits for renewable energy sources like residential solar power systems as well as strong net metering and interconnection laws that layout sufficient standards to protect consumers like you and me.
Thankfully, not all is lost.
Through many current reports, it’s apparent that not only is solar positive for the environment but it can reduce your utility bills significantly. However, the benefits of solar stretch beyond just reducing utility costs and improving the environmental impact of energy consumption, solar power also creates long-term ROI and is proven to improve profits for businesses across the United States. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) “solar is creating well-paying jobs and driving down electricity costs for consumers, businesses and municipalities. It also has generated significant economic activity, accounting for $140 billion in private investment since its inception.”
Customers time and time again report meeting a high percentage of their demand and with the data shown from their system, they are able to see how much money it saved them. The data is clear, solar is the way to go for homeowners who have access to it. Many even regret not going solar sooner!
Here at Creative Solar USA we strive to offer you the highest quality customer service available and we would be proud to guide you throughout the entire process of having solar power in your home, from your first call to your first utility bill report post-install, we’ll be there every step of the way. With current incentives available for a limited time only, give Creative Solar USA a call today and let us show you the power that the sun can give!