Original Post from: EnergySage
REASONS TO SWITCH
Over the past 20 years, the price of traditional fuels such as oil, gas and electricity have increased steadily at 2-3X the inflation rate. While the long- term pricing trend is predictable, short-term prices, especially for oil and gas are extremely volatile making planning and managing energy costs difficult.
Before you begin researching which clean energy system is best for you, you need to know what goals you are trying to achieve and how important each one is to you. So here’s a list of the Top 10 Goals so that you can begin to identify and prioritize your objectives.
Reason 1: Eliminate or Reduce Energy Costs
There are a number of reasons for wanting to eliminate or reduce your energy costs. Energy costs represent a high percentage of the overall costs of running your home or business. They can be volatile and unpredictable. Or you may just be tired of handing your hard-earned money over to the utilities. Whatever the reason, cost reduction or elimination is a big consideration for most investors in clean energy systems.
Reason 2: Hedge Long-term Costs
Some homeowners or business want to make their energy costs more stable in order to better predict their overall “operating” costs. Clean energy systems allow them to lock-in their energy costs for the long-term and avoid the anxiety associated with energy price fluctuations. Leasing, rather than buying, the system is a good option for consumers looking to hedge costs.
Reason 3: Increase in Value of Real Estate
Buildings and homes equipped with clean energy systems have lower cost of ownership. This helps explain why the Appraisal Journal estimates that each $1 of energy costs saved increases the value of a home increases by $20. Additional studies show that homes equipped with clean energy systems sell twice as fast and at a premium of 3-4% over similar homes in the neighborhood.
ENVIRONMENTAL & SOCIAL OBJECTIVES
Reason 4: Reduce Carbon Footprint
Many clean energy consumers are focused on reducing health and environmental issues related to carbon emissions. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, buildings contribute about 35% of all carbon emissions in the United States. A typical residential solar photovoltaic installation can eliminate 3-4 tons of carbon emissions annually.
Reason 5: U.S. Energy Independence
For many of us, clean energy adoption is a means to achieving U.S. energy independence from foreign oil. The U.S. produces only 3% of world’s oil output, but consumes 25%, making it heavily reliant on fossil fuels purchased abroad. The $700 billion spent annually by the U.S. to purchase foreign oil represents one of the biggest wealth transfers in history. $400 billion of that $700 billion is sent to countries that have been linked to funding global terrorism. These factors make clean energy systems a priority for individuals concerned about our economic health and national security.
Reason 6: Domestic Job Creation
It’s estimated that investments in clean energy could create between 3 to 5 million “green collar” jobs over the next decade. These jobs are not generally “outsource-able” and can provide a significant contribution to the U.S. domestic economy.
Reason 7: Commitment to the Planet and Community
Many of us install clean energy systems because they are a way of demonstrating our commitment to a healthy planet and a clean environment.
Reason 8: Marketing & Public Relations
Many communities recognize and celebrate local businesses that commit to operating responsibly, which can create increased publicity. A company’s “Green” credentials are a powerful influence on consumer purchasing decisions.
Reason 9: Employee morale
Employees appreciate their employers’ commitment to a cleaner environment and their community’s well being. Employees who feel good towards their employers are better company ambassadors, have higher morale, and low turn-over rates.
Reason 10: Competitive/Peer pressure
With so many companies adopting clean energy systems to hedge or reduce their energy costs, many others have to follow suit just to remain competitive.