Supporting a new energy economy
By installing solar panels, you’re investing money into local businesses that provide jobs and contribute to economic growth in your community.
Compare that to purchasing electricity from large electric utility companies, who use your money to import and extract fossil fuels, pay back shareholders, or lobby Washington politicians.
California’s solar industry is robust and growing, even as utilities desperately try to hold on to old business models. Some reasons to choose solar over fossil fuel-fired electricity include:
- Utilities don’t have consumer interests in mind
- Power companies need revenues to appease shareholders and out-of-state interests
- The solar industry creates local jobs
- Solar employment in California grew by 13.2% between 2011-2012
Utilities don’t have consumer interests in mind
The 3,200 electric utilities throughout the country have largely relied on fossil fuels to bring them continued success over the last century. Fossil fuel-generated electricity is what utilities have built the electric grid around. Their business is to make sure you pay for the use of this grid and pay for the centralized generation of energy with a significant fee.
Rather than spending those revenues to invest in our communities, these utilities send money to corporate shareholders and lobbyists who fight to maintain the energy status quo in Washington. In 2012, electric utilities gave nearly $15 million to congressional members across party lines.
Utilities hope that by lobbying politicians, they’ll be able to stick with the business models that have brought them so much money. The business model of an electric utility is quite simple: sell as much electricity as possible to as many people as possible.
In order to meet their goals, utilities often import electricity from power plants that lie outside of their states. Consider that California utilities actually import more electricity than any other state in the country – using the money from your monthly power bills.
Solar poses a huge threat to utilities, which are watching consumers abandon traditional fossil fuels in droves. The Edison Electric Institute, the industry trade group, themselves acknowledge the threat solar poses.
Writing in a report that solar could lead to “irreparable damages to revenue and growth prospects,” the EEI then spends the remainder of the study examining how they might maintain their current business model, rather than evolving toward a more consumer-focused one.
The solar industry creates local jobs
Unlike the fossil fuel industry, which thrives on selling expensive power to appease shareholders, solar is focused on the consumer.
When you contact a solar installer, you’ll be working with a local community member who cares about reducing your electricity costs and carbon footprint.
While California’s utilities spend your money to purchase coal-fired electricity from Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada, solar companies spend your money to hire workers and expand services in state.
That’s because the nature of the solar industry requires jobs to remain at home. Solar installers, customer representatives, and system designers must travel to new solar sites in person, keeping the jobs local.
In California, solar job growth has tremendously accelerated over the years. Between 1995 and 2012, employment of solar workers increased by over 166% to 43,700. Nationwide, jobs increased by 13.2% between 2011 and 2012, even as fossil fuel jobs fell by 3.77%.
You can support this industry as it expands by contacting local installers today. You’ll feel safe knowing that your money will be reinvested in the community, driving local economic growth and creating jobs at home.