Portland Maine Solar Heat Pump Option

Homeowners like Justin McEdward of Portland, ME are protected from energy rate hikes thanks to their investments in solar energy and heat pumps

Along with death and taxes, add utility rate hikes to the list of certainties in life. This week, Unitil announced a near-doubling of their electricity supply rate from 8.5c/kWh to 15.5c/kWh. This will result in a staggering cost increase ofroughly $42/month for the average homeowner in the Seacoast. Mainers in CMP territory are also affected, though by a smaller (~$4/mo) increase that took effect September 1.

The increased Unitil rates are driven because of competition to get ahold of natural gas. AsSeacoast Online reports, “more than half of New England’s electricity is generated by natural gas and heating customers get first crack at the total natural gas capacity, according to [ISO New England’s Marcia] Bloomberg, whose company operates the New England Power Grid, runs the competitive wholesale electricity markets and plans for future power needs.”

The competition for natural gas for both heating and electricity means that the price per therm skyrockets in the wintertime, driving up the cost for both usages of the energy. Unitil has a near apologetic tone in the news article, suggesting that homeowners take “energy-saving and cost-cutting initiatives” and “look into third-party electricity supply organizations” for lower rates of electricity.

We suggest one more: GO SOLAR!!!.

With Own Your Power loans available, you can lock in an electric rate at or below your current electric supply rate, swapping out a monthly payment to the power company to a fixed payment for a solar energy system that you own. When you Own Your Power with Solar, your electric rate (for the solar portion) will never increase. After 12 years, it is gone forever. Utility rates can double or triple over that 12-year period, and your monthly payment will stay the same.