Are you a homeowner or landlord who wants to lower utility costs using solar energy to cleanly produce electricity, but you aren’t sure how to go about it or have time to research all the options?

Based on intense concerns regarding climate change and predictions that by about 2017 “clean” electricity produced by residential solar installations will cost about half of what regular utility companies will be charging — all local governments within Yolo County are now sponsoring and promoting a fully vetted (20%) discount program to introduce such solar energy innovation — but this program will end on June 30.

Residential solar energy has recently become competitive with the cost of electricity from utility companies, at about 12 cents per kilowatt hour, and will soon be even cheaper.  In three or four years, residential solar energy is projected to cost only 8 cents per kilowatt hour, while utility companies are expected to offer electricity at that rate for about 14 cents.

Importantly, residential solar energy installations eliminate the need for electricity to be transferred long distances from its point of production to its point of use, which is an immense cost utility companies will increasingly pass on to their consumers.

Selective independence from the conventional “grid” — while paying only half of its cost for your own “cleanly” (non-polluting) produced (onsite) electricity source, appears as an attractive prospect for the future.

Currently, energy consumers can match the price of conventional electricity with residential solar installations reliably producing their own “clean” electricity.  For those folk with an environmentally aligned conscience, this present equaling of cost should become a tipping-point toward a revolution of solar energy use.

As well, recent data reveal that 7 times as many ‘jobs per megawatt of electricity’ are being created in the United States through residential solar installations, as are created from coal production.

Both for economic and environmental reasons, residential solar installations clearly are very beneficial.

Local governments are associating to sponsor and promote such a program, so that it can offer a 20% cost discount by means of group-based purchasing.

Phase one of this program in 2012 was limited to local governmental employees, but in 2013 it has been expanded to include any person who lives or works in Yolo County.

Various incentives exist for participation, such as: free (no obligation) solar evaluation of homes, discounted energy efficiency assessments, pre-negotiated group discounts, fully vetted contractors, an independent and unbiased technical advisor, 30% federal tax credit on solar installations, and solar leasing options.

Environmental and economic reasons have now strongly combined to make residential solar installations an attractive alternative to involvement with conventional utility companies.

“[S]olar energy use has surged at about 20 percent a year over the past 15 years, thanks to falling prices and gains in efficiency,” indicates the National Geographic webpage about solar energy, which continues: “With tax incentives, solar electricity can often pay for itself in five to ten years.”

Apparently, through this Yolo County program, consumers can now begin to pay less than they do to utility companies, by using solar energy.

This local solar-electricity installation program, named: “Energy Benefits Yolo,” is managed by GroupEnergy, “specializing in the design and administration of collaborative purchasing programs that make clean energy solutions simple, social and affordable.”

The relevant GroupEnergy website, where persons may register and participate, is:  http://www.mygroupenergy.com/yolo