Future Power Grid Upgrades and Making Customers Foot the Bill
June 2, 2022
Utility companies across the United States are making their biggest spending increase in decades.
Aging power grids, rising electric vehicle (EV) use and the gradual transition to renewable energy reliance will induce higher rates for customers.
Here’s a look into what’s going on and what you can expect.
Rapidly Rising Electricity Bills
Just between February 2021 and February 2022, there was an almost 4% increase in residential electricity rates. Compare that to about an 8% increase from the year before — the biggest hike in decades.
This rise is certainly related to inflation (lower gasoline availability causing higher gas prices). But chaos within supply chains is making maintenance, repair, upgrades and the creation of new energy infrastructure nearly impossible without more funding.
So those spikes in your electricity rates are only going to continue. The money for upgrades has to come from somewhere, and it’s going to be almost entirely from customers’ monthly energy bills.
However, climate change is another factor for increased monthly energy costs. More extreme temperatures are causing households and businesses alike to use more energy for heating and cooling. So while utility companies are raising prices, most households and businesses are using more energy — causing their bills to be more expensive than usual.
[Related: Average Cost of Solar Panels and Installation]
Utility Companies Making Upgrades
Utility companies nationwide are planning to spend hundreds of billions of dollars toward infrastructure repairs and upgrades in the coming years. This cost is mostly for maintenance, repairs and upgrades needed to help power grids and other energy equipment transmit power more efficiently. But another reason is climate change.
Utility companies realize the dire need to strengthen their equipment to stand up against natural disasters as weather grows more severe and climate-related factors worsen.
Just think of the winter storm in Texas last year that left numerous areas without power for days on end. The increasing prevalence of natural disasters like hurricanes is a leading incentive for utility companies to invest in infrastructure upgrades.
But creating new sustainable energy infrastructure is another area that needs funding. Especially since renewable energy equipment has proven to be much more reliable than traditional power sources. States such as California and Texas are investing in clean energy as a leading source of power to distribute to their communities, and other states aren’t following too far behind.
However, it’s customers who will foot the bill for those infrastructure upgrades in their respective states, and the money will come from their high monthly energy payments.
[Related: California Now Requires Solar Homes — Here’s How It Could Work in Texas]
Renewable Energy Pricing
The price of wind turbines and solar panels was decreasing for several years — a major benefit for those looking to transition to or rely more heavily on clean energy sources.
However, that price has recently risen because of supply chain problems. Analysts predict the price of energy through renewable sources will eventually decrease again, further reducing our reliance on oil, gas and coal as primary energy sources.
There are other conversations on ways to reduce energy consumption such as investing in EVs to lessen consumer reliance on gasoline. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be higher up-front costs when building new wind and solar installations, upgrading power lines, investing in batteries for backup battery power or purchasing EVs.
More and more people are searching for ways to reduce their dependence on the grid — and their personal impact on the environment. Driving an EV and using solar power to rely less on the grid are ways to accomplish that.
[Related: How Going Solar Benefits the Environment and Public Health]
Contact Freedom Solar to Invest in Solar Panels
If you’re ready to take your energy use into your own hands, contact Freedom Solar. We’ll help you gain energy independence through solar by working with you to purchase and install a SunPower solar panel system for your home or business.
Contact us today to join the renewable energy movement. Call (800) 503-2337 or complete our inquiry form, and one of our solar specialists will be in touch!
Featured image via Pixabay