Just a few short years ago, there was hardly a rooftop solar system to be found in Arkansas. Sure, they existed, but they were mostly owned by a niche group of homeowners and businesses. Now, it’s not unusual to see a rooftop solar system in a neighborhood or on your favorite restaurant.
Arkansans have woken up to the many benefits of owing a rooftop solar system.
Owing your own power has many advantages. Not only does it virtually eliminate your electric bill, it lasts an average of 25 years. That’s a great return on your investment! The cost of solar systems has also dropped 70% over the past 10 years, so it’s affordable to install. Plus, the federal government provides a 26% federal tax credit to help you pay for it.
In addition, solar also provides a clean, renewable way to power your home or business. It means your electric rates will never increase and once your solar system is paid for, you’ll be saving thousands of dollars every year. Best of all, there is no maintenance, unless you count occasionally spraying off your panels with a garden hose.
Rooftop solar also helps the state’s electric utilities. Thanks to Arkansas’s progressive net metering law, homes and businesses with rooftop solar systems can sell any excess power they generate back to their electric utility. This helps utilities in two ways. First, it provides an additional source of power during peak usage periods, most often in the summer. This, in turn, helps them avoid purchasing any excess power on the wholesale market, which is expensive during peak times—an expense that is passed on to consumers.
It also helps utilities manage growing demand. America has an unquenchable thirst for energy to power all of its electronic devices and it’s growing every day. Now, with the automotive industry moving more towards electric vehicles, demand will skyrocket. To meet this demand electric utilities will have to build new power plants and that means higher rates for customers. Rooftop solar systems help manage this demand by offsetting it and providing an additional, affordable power source to the utility so that such infrastructure investments are not necessary or can be delayed. This contributes to keeping electric rates stable for everyone, whether they have solar or not.
Finally, rooftop solar provides many well-paying jobs to Arkansans, many of them veterans. According to the recently released Clean Jobs America Report, Arkansas ranks 34th in the nation for clean energy jobs with about 1.6% of the state workforce employed in this sector, many of them in solar. These numbers are expected to increase given the Biden administration’s emphasis on renewable energy—welcome news for many of the state’s unemployed and the solar industry as a whole.
With all the benefits of rooftop solar and the fact that it is a win-win scenario for everyone, it’s no wonder many Arkansas homeowners and businesses are making the move to solar. A lot has changed in the past five years and more growth is yet to come. So, don’t be surprised to see more rooftop solar installations in your area. It’s a technology that’s here to stay.
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