How Solar Benefits Local Communities
Jun. 24, 2019
If you’ve spent any time on our blog, then you may be familiar with the economic and environmental benefits of solar — for both homeowners and businesses here in Massachusetts. Investing in clean solar energy is an excellent way to offset your electricity usage, reduce your carbon footprint, and stay protected from rising energy costs. But did you know that solar offers benefits for the local community as well?
Solar Supports the Local Economy
According to MassSolar, $22 billion flows out of Massachusetts every year in order to purchase coal, oil, and gas. Solar allows homeowners and businesses alike to keep their energy sources local. In fact, every dollar invested in solar creates $1.20 in benefits for the local economy.
Massachusetts invested an estimated $580.1 million in solar in 2018 alone, bringing the state’s total solar investment to $6.4 billion. Using MassSolar’s calculation, that’s $696.1 million in benefits for Massachusetts’ economy in 2018 and $7.68 billion in benefits for the state’s economy to date!
Solar Drives Local Environmental Benefits
If you live in a Green Community like Boston, Westwood, Sutton, Longmeadow, Brookline or Scituate, you, especially, can observe the benefits of a green economy. Green Communities receive grant funding for renewable energy projects like weatherization upgrades for schools and municipal buildings, LED lighting upgrades, and energy conservation measures. These initiatives pave the way for solar energy to provide clean electricity and offset greenhouse gas emissions.
Solar Protects and Lower Rates For All Ratepayers
You probably already know that if you have solar panels on your roof or property, you can protect yourself from rising energy prices; but did you know that even your neighbors who don’t have solar can benefit as well?
This is because as more homeowners and businesses install grid-tied solar PV systems, local utilities gain increased access to clean electricity and it reduces the demand on the grid for utilities to invest in new transmission lines. With reduced demand for new transmission lines, the benefit goes back to the ratepayer in terms of lower rates!
Even in times of peak demand, like a summer heat wave, distributed solar can reduce demand and save millions in the cost of electricity. According to Sebane, distributed solar helped reduce the cost of electricity during one heat wave in July 2018 in Massachusetts by nearly $20 million!
Solar Creates Jobs in Massachusetts
Solar and other forms of renewable energy create jobs for local Massachusetts residents. Solar energy creates over 4 times more jobs than other energy sources. Solar energy is also local - solar jobs and the economic benefits they bring remain in Massachusetts! For example, during the economic crisis, employment in the clean energy sector grew up to ten times faster than employment in any other industry here in Massachusetts. Now, the clean energy sector employs over 109,000 workers across the state, with 68% of those workers earning over $50,000 per year.
Solar Reduces Operating Costs for Businesses
Small businesses and large companies alike have invested in solar in order to reap the many financial benefits of solar — like a reduction in operating costs and protection against rising electricity prices. And, just like how solar reduces operating costs for businesses and farms, solar also reduces operating costs for schools.
Solar Protects Public Health
Other forms of energy like oil and natural gas emit byproducts like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and smog, which have been linked to symptoms like respiratory and cardiovascular distress. Solar, on the other hand, is a zero-emission energy source. This means that solar, along with other clean energy initiatives, can offer significant public health benefits — including potentially millions of dollars in savings per year in health care costs.
Considering installing solar on your home or business? Find out how solar energy can benefit you — and your local community! Call 617-858-1645 or contact us to get a free quote.