Luckily, new options are emerging. Technological innovation has opened pathways to a better energy future, one that is becoming more available to consumers with each passing day. What will it take to create a tipping point towards sustainable, reliable, cost-efficient energy infrastructure? The recent report Affordable, Clean, Reliable Energy, released by residential solar energy provider Sunrun, offers a compelling strategy.
A Consumer-Centric Approach
Since energy consumers (and that’s all of us) are the ones who suffer from the inefficiencies and costs of the current model of energy production and delivery, it makes sense that they can drive the solution. Sunrun CEO Lynn Jurich offers a four-point plan to “Enable Innovation & Affordability” with consumers at its center.
First, Jurich notes that “Open markets drive competition. Competition drives innovation and affordability,” and suggests that we “let the market work.” Currently, the monopoly on consumer choice by utility companies discourages competition and therefore innovative and affordable solutions. If, instead of spending massive amounts of money to shore up existing infrastructure, utilities were encouraged to act as “a platform for competitive solutions that empower customers,” clean energy products would become more widely available and implemented by consumers.
Second, Sunrun endorses Net-Metering policies that “maintain fair compensation with simple, stable rates” for consumers. That way, consumers who choose to adopt clean energy technologies such as solar panels and battery storage systems (which are currently more efficient and less costly than ever before) can benefit from their investment and continue to drive the market for innovative technology. These consumers, as Jurich writes, are “part of the solution.”
Additionally, she suggests that more opportunities must be created for lower-income consumers and communities. “Communities that embrace home solar don’t just benefit from lower bills, they also gain more local job opportunities and better health,” Jurich writes, and this “is especially significant for low-income families and communities of color.” With the right incentives and policies in place, we could empower lower-income communities to take part in the future of clean energy.
Finally, Jurich calls for incentive programs for battery storage. As we’ve written previously, distributed generation and solar-plus-storage systems are increasingly the clear answer to our outdated, inefficient energy infrastructure issues. While four states currently incentivize the adoption of battery storage, more need to join in to tip the scales in favor of consumers across the country. “Excess power stored in the battery can be shared when it is needed,” Jurich writes, “ and contribute to a more reliable, affordable energy system for everyone.”
Empowering Consumer Choice
At Solar Design Studio, our passion for solar design and installation is aligned with a desire to make solar solutions accessible to as many consumers as possible. We achieve this through a commitment to creating solutions that offer the shortest payback periods and the highest possible return on investment. Our deep experience and expertise in solar and storage design, engineering, and project management for distributed energy generation systems allows us to provide the highest level of service while ensuring that consumers are rewarded for their investment in solar energy with stability and cost savings.
Solar panels, battery storage systems, and other clean energy technologies can only compete with the utility monopoly if they’re available to as many consumers as possible. Through our commitment to providing solar solutions to commercial and residential consumers, we hope to accelerate the tipping point towards an efficient, effective, and clean energy future.
As Jurich notes, “the question is not whether local, consumer-powered energy is the future. The question is whether this future will happen fast enough to avoid the most harmful effects of polluting fossil fuels on our planet, our health, and our future generations.” Consumers who are early-adopters of solar or other clean energy technologies are part of the solution, helping to create a future in which our energy infrastructure serves us and not the utility companies.
Are you ready to be a part of the solution? Contact us today to learn more and get started.