Why should I consider installing a renewable energy system at my home or business?

  • The federal government and many states, cities and utility providers offer incentives for the purchase of renewable energy systems by homeowners, such as tax credits, rebates and/or other incentives. (44 states currently require electricity providers to purchase excess electricity generated from renewable energy systems);
  • The increasing price of electricity produced from fossil fuels;
  • Because it can be a good investment that provides a higher return than other more traditional investments like CD’s, savings accounts, or money market accounts;
  • Because our growing dependence on foreign oil is increasingly placing our very economic survival in the hands of a few foreign governments, with potentially disastrous consequences;
  • Because it can be done.  Kenya, with one of the lowest per capita income rates in the world, has already managed to achieve one of the highest per capita rates of installed home renewable energy systems in the world;
  • Because dramatically increased amounts of energy from domestic coal, natural gas, oil and nuclear can’t be delivered;
  • Because we have to. Fossil fuels will eventually be depleted, whether or not we have transitioned to a non-fossil fuel based society; and depleting fossil fuels before completing the transition would cause widespread and ruinous damage to our economy and society;
  • Because of the enormous amount of America’s wealth transferred every year to corrupt, unstable governments in oil producing countries, some of which are hostile to America;
  • Because you can become more self reliant and energy independent;
  • Because the overall efficiency of power plants and the grid distribution system is less than 15%, which means about 85% of all energy contained in fossil fuels is used or lost in extraction, conversion to electricity and transmission before the electricity actually gets to us;
  • Because any acceptable post fossil fuel energy source must be non-depletable, environmentally clean, abundant, inexpensive over the long term and widely available;
  • Because changing to a post fossil fuel world will be an extremely difficult and lengthy challenge, and the sooner we get started the better;
  • Because there has historically been a direct correlation between an industrialized nation’s use of low cost and abundant energy, and that nation’s prosperity and economic strength;
  • Because we don’t know when the leaders of the oil and natural gas exporting countries will decide to keep their remaining oil and natural gas reserves for use by their own citizens and sharply reduce, or stop, exports to us;
  • Because distributed energy production creates electricity where it will be used, helps reduce demand on the electrical grid system, and improves the electrical grid stability;
  • Because of global climate change;

So the more relevant question is: Why shouldn’t you?

About the Author

Mark H. Witte is a strong proponent for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and believes individuals should have more control over how the energy for their homes is produced.