Since the deregulation of electricity markets in the United States, consumers have had a wider choice of power suppliers, including alternative power companies that harness wind energy or solar energy to power their consumers’ homes and businesses. Coupled with a decrease in the price of standard electricity production, many American homeowners are seeing reduced heating and cooling bills at home and their places of business.
Homeowners who install solar panels may feed excess energy back into the larger electricity grid and receive monthly or quarterly payments from their local electric companies. Many homeowners see solar panels as an investment that “pays for itself” over a few years of use, and some have even installed wind turbines on land that they own, citing a commitment to sustainable energy.
Alternative power companies have seen a marked increase in the last ten years: solar power is now more efficient and affordable, and many states offer rebates or tax incentives for homeowners who install high-performance solar panels. Wind turbines are being built across America with the intention of maximizing energy that is generated from sources that are both low-cost and ecologically friendly.
Power suppliers are also providing homeowners with tips to minimize home heating and cooling costs. The average electricity bill is about $100 every month, but homeowners who install thermostats to control their homes’ temperatures may save as much as 10% on their heating and cooling bill every month. Thermostats that can be programmed to lower a home’s temperature while homeowners are asleep or at work may save over $1000 every year.
In areas of the country with consistently high heating or cooling costs, alternative power companies offering discounted electric rates seem to be expanding their customer base. Many Americans are willing to consider wind or solar energy now that the prices for installation have dropped considerably and report a positive experience with contractors and installers.
Reaching out to rural areas that may have previously been disconnected from the larger electric grid, upgrading small businesses to solar power, and offering incentives and rebates to homeowners who wish to reduce their monthly bills are all helping alternative power companies take advantage of deregulated energy markets to expand their reach and effectiveness.