Why Stress About Your Energy Rates Going Up on a Fixed Income?

It will not surprise anyone struggling to make ends meet while living on a fixed income that after health care and housing, one of the largest expenses to control is heating (and cooling) costs. In this article, we will prove how a solar energy roof is the best way to control heating and cooling costs, and perhaps even more importantly, control your stress level. Another advantage to a solar energy roof is that you get to keep more of your fixed income. You can also receive savings, which are not taxed as income! And the best part-solar energy roofs are now more affordable than ever.

Fixed Income & Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs)

The most common source of fixed income for people living in the United States comes from the United States (US) government in the form of Social Security (SS) benefits. US SS benefits take two forms: the Social Security retirement program (SS) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The benefits for both programs are generally the same. And both programs receive Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) annually. Although it should be noted that three times over the last 15 years, in 2009, 2010, and 2015, there were no adjustments made.

COLAs are intended to keep pace with inflation to protect recipients from the “loss of purchasing power implied by inflation”. But experts usually cannot agree if COLAs really do or do not keep pace. The simple explanation for the conflicting opinions is that the method used to estimate the COLA is just that, an estimate. It’s not an exact science and several factors go into the estimation. COLAs are based on an index used to measure the amount of inflation found in goods and services purchased by most working class Americans. The following chart presents the percentage (%) increase in COLAs over the last fifteen (15) years:

 

YEAR

COLA % INCREASE  

YEAR

COLA % INCREASE  

YEAR

COLA % INCREASE
2004 2.7 2009 0.0 2014 1.7
2005 4.1 2010 0.0 2015 0.0
2006 3.3 2011 3.6 2016 0.3
2007 2.3 2012 1.7 2017 2.0
2008 5.8 2013 1.5 2018 2.8

Electricity Prices Trending Up

Everyone understands electricity prices change monthly, seasonally, and annually. In general, electricity rates have risen across the US at a rate of about 4% on average over the last ten (10) years. And, the US Energy Information Administration predicts electricity prices will continue to increase. See The Annual Energy Outlook 2014 with projections to 2040.

Therefore if electricity prices continue to rise about 4% on average and COLA increases for fixed income individuals continue to be as meager as they have been over the last 18 years, it’s easy to see why rising energy costs cause stress.

Home Heating Options

Traditional fossil fuel options exist for home heating and factors such as climate, lifestyle, and budget each contribute to someone deciding which one is the most practical system for their home. But in order to really understand the benefits of a solar energy roof option, let’s quickly review the traditional costs associated with fossil fuels options:

The Farmers’ Almanac provided 2013 estimated costs for the various fossil fuel options based on heating a 1200-sq.-ft. home from the months of October to March:

Fuel Type Estimated Yearly Usage Estimate Costs Per Unit Estimated Yearly Cost
Wood 4-6 cords $145-$225/cord $1350 for 6 cords at $225/cord
Pellet 3-5 tons $250-$309/ton $1,545 for 5 tons at $309/ton
Heating Oil 800-1,000 gallons $3/gallon $2,700 for 1,000 gallons
Propane (Wall Furnaces) 400-600 gallons $2.75/gallon $1,650 for 500 gallons
Natural Gas 864 cubic feet (ccf) $0.53-$0.79/ccf $683 for 864 ccf
Anthracite Coal 2-4 tons $200-$235/ton $940 for 4 tons

 

Keep in mind the above costs were estimated for 2013-2014. At the time of this writing, it’s nearly 2019 and costs for all the above fuels have certainly increased over the last five (5) years.

How Does a Solar Energy Roof Let You Keep More of Your Fixed Income?

It may be hard to believe but a solar energy roof will let you keep more of your fixed income because once installed, your heating and cooling costs may be reduced or eliminated almost immediately. In fact, a solar energy roof may actually make you money and offer long-term savings.

Immediate Savings

Solar roof panels generate their own power and will greatly, if not entirely, offset your monthly electricity bill. And, if your system generates more electricity than you use, you may be able to receive payments for excess amounts sold back to your utility company.

Until the end of 2019, the investment tax credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit, allows homeowners to deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from their federal taxes. The deduction decreases to 26 percent for 2020, and 22 percent for 2021. This credit can be claimed as soon as construction is complete, as long as it is operational by December 31, 2023.

Additional income tax credits, deductions, and property tax exemptions or deductions or rebates for solar roof installations may also be available in some states.

Long-Term Savings

Not only is a solar energy roof protecting your fixed income, it’s also protecting the roof of your house from rain, snow, debris, and heat damage. The savings from your solar roof panels will continue to produce free electricity for you with minimal maintenance and upgrade expenses since most systems are designed to last twenty years or more.

Most homeowners will see a several thousand dollar increases in the resale value of their home. Prospective buyers value and understand the benefits of solar roofing and are willing to pay higher prices in exchange for a home with low or no utility costs.

Conclusion

Use the energy from the sun to save money and save yourself from stressing over how to make your fixed income go farther and last longer. For clean energy and big savings, stop by Secure Roofing and Solar today. Just fill out our contact form. We’d be glad to schedule a free consultation and provide you with a comprehensive estimate.