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Who are the people installing solar on their houses?

…and I was like “kilowatts?! Man, I don’t even own a TV.”

During the past five years, solar power generation has grown exponentially, to the point that solar is now the number two new source of electricity generation in the country behind natural gas, beating out wind, coal, and all the rest. Still, a perception persists that solar is for granola-eating hippies, stalwart back-to-the-landers, or, worse yet Californians.

But that perception is just not true. People like the two young men above are not driving the solar revolution—actually, considering that picture was taken at Woodstock in 1969, those dudes are probably now semi-retired investment bankers with solar panels on their main residences in upstate New York and their vacation homes in the Hamptons.

And it’s not just because New York is one of the best states in the nation for solar, either. Solar is a good investment for people from Poughkeepsie to San Diego, beating the returns from investing in the stock market in 30 out of 50 states. That’s a huge reason why companies like SolarCity and Vivint Solar are growing by leaps and bounds.

No, it’s not just hippies and libertarians getting into solar, it’s your next-door neighbor, your Ford Truck owner, or your cousin’s sister’s kid’s teacher. Environmentalism is no longer the main reason to move to carbon-free energy sources, saving money is. The costs have come way down, the incentives are still great, and there are companies everywhere who want to help you go solar.

Check out the NPR story embedded below about a Regular Joe—er, John—a retired New York cop who recently went solar for just the reasons outlined above. Then see if your roof can save you money by signing up to get quotes from expert solar installers in your area.

Last modified: August 9, 2019

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