Source: Inside Climate News
About 5 percent of U.S. households have rooftop solar, a share that may seem like a lot, but it looks low compared to places like Germany (about 20 percent) and Australia (about 30 percent).
One of the big reasons that the United States lags some of those other countries is that electricity is unusually cheap here, so it makes less sense on a financial basis for someone to buy rooftop solar.
But this is changing.
Utilities across the country have been raising their electricity rates by leaps and bounds, with the approval of state regulators. The rate hikes reflect increases in the utilities’ costs of operation and their desire to show growth in earnings. This is fueling demand for rooftop solar, the technology that many utilities view as competition.
At what point is a customer’s electricity rate high enough to justify rooftop solar on a financial basis? That’s complicated, and depends on policies at the state level and how much sun a place gets. But let’s simplify things and I’ll throw out a number: 15 cents.
This rate, 15 cents per kilowatt-hour, translates to a monthly bill of about $130 for a household with average electricity consumption.