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Renewables & Gas Make Coal Plants "Uneconomical"


Coal, the long-reigning king of the U.S. power sector, was officially dethroned by cheap, abundant natural gas in 2016. In 2018, natural gas fueled more than 60 percent of newly installed electric-generating capacity and accounted for 35 percent of total U.S. electricity generation.

We’re happy to report some interesting news coming from the United States Energy Information Association (EIA). According to recent figures, electric power generated from coal has dropped a whopping 30% in 2020. This is following a year of record lows in the formerly dominant industry.

What’s the reason for this change? Better availability for alternative energy sources such as natural gas, wind, and (of course) solar. 

Keep reading to learn how this affects you as a South Florida homeowner and why this is a big deal for the sector.

What This Means for the Future of Solar Energy

It might already sound obvious that clean energy is the way to go to help protect our planet. However, the coal industry has been around a long time and currently dominates approximately 90% of United States coal consumption. That’s why it is such a staple in the utility market and has been for many, many years.

The real catalyst for the switch to cleaner energy sources has to do with overall financial impact.

Simply put, it costs electric companies more money to burn coal thanks to increasing regulatory guidelines. In the end, it is cheaper to invest in a new method than it is to retrofit existing coal burning power plants to meet environmental standards. This is what is causing a drastic decline in the industry.

Why Now is the Best Time to Switch to Solar

As a South Florida homeowner, this might not sound like significant news or anything that affects your daily life. So, let’s put this into perspective.

Imagine your power company decides it costs too much money to burn coal. They switch to an alternative energy source like natural gas, which means changing all of the equipment and operating locations that they have. Somebody has to pay for all that, which ultimately goes back to customers in the form of surcharges over long periods of time.

See why this is a problem?

Now is an ideal time to switch to solar. By getting off the merry-go-round of dealing with the power company’s decisions to change their current standards, you give yourself the ability to save money, adopt an energy plan for your family that is better for the planet, and provides better reliability.

What’s not to love about any of that?

Make the Economical, Environmentally Conscious Switch to Solar with Vinyasun

Have you considered the switch to solar power, but aren’t sure where to begin? 

At Vinyasun, we’re proud to be a South Florida industry leader. Please contact us today for a virtual quote or to learn more about what switching to panels can do for your home and budget. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can FPL or my HOA prevent me from switching to solar?

The Florida Solar Rights Act is a law that forbids any entity—including homeowner associations—from prohibiting the installation of solar or other renewable energy devices on Florida buildings.

An association may require approval of a system installation and may establish restrictions for installations. However, any such restrictions must be reasonable, not arbitrary, and applied in a uniform manner for all association members. Also, any restrictions must not have the effect of impairing the performance, or increasing the cost, of a solar system.

In particular, a homeowner association may not prevent the installation of solar collectors on the roof of a home. The association may determine where on the roof the collectors may be installed, so long as the collectors face within 45 degrees of due south.

Finally, any requirement(s) that a system be screened from view by trees, fences, ground mounting racks, or a remote roof location that is hidden from the street, will generally violate the statute.

Click here to verify information is provided by the Florida Solar Energy Industry Association

Is solar free for Florida homeowners?
  • The sun is free to everyone.
  • Solar panels and specific back-up battery systems qualify for a number of rebates, tax credits and incentives.
  • There is a cost associated with solar energy because you are paying for your system. 
  • Financing enables homeowners to make the transition with $0 upfront costs
  • Systems often cost the same amount monthly as your current FPL bill
  • Solar puts equity in your home because you own the system and increases the value a minimum of 4.1% - click here for the Zillow case study

Does solar increase my home value?

Not only can adding solar panels to a home save energy costs and help the environment, it also can potentially increase a home’s value. In 2019 Zillow found that homes with solar energy systems sold for 4.1% more on average than comparable homes without solar power. For the median-valued home, that translates to an additional $9,274.

The sale premium varies substantially by market. In Riverside, Calif., for example, homes with solar-energy systems sold for 2.7% more than comparable homes without solar power—a markup of $9,926 for the median-valued home in the metro. In the greater New York City metro, solar-powered homes have a premium that is double that of Riverside. At 5.4%, that’s an extra $23,989 in value for the typical home in New York. In three other coastal metro areas—Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando, Fla.—homes with solar power can fetch a premium of around 4%.

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