Utility cost on the rise in Colorado Springs

Thanks to the city council’s recent vote to hike prices, residents in Colorado Springs will have to pay an average of $290 more for gas and electricity this winter.

The rising price of natural gas in Colorado Springs is a result of national and international factors, forcing Colorado Springs Utilities to pass along the cost increase directly to customers, officials said.

The council approved the increase unanimously, resulting in many people turning to Colorado Springs Solar companies to install solar energy systems.

How much will the Bills Increase?

Utilities estimate that customers’ bills will rise from $260 per month to $290 per month if they use 60 cubic feet of natural gas in a month and 700 kilowatt-hours.

On average, natural gas prices will increase by $15.92 per month, to $75.33, or 26.8%, while electric costs will increase by $12.60, to $105.82, or 13.5%.

According to projections, residents’ total average bill could go down about 3.4% after the rate hikes in November and stay in place until February. Another reduction may occur in May.

Those rate increases were in addition to the rate increases approved in March, which raised residents’ natural gas bills on average by about $22. In February, when temperatures spiked across the country during a four-day deep freeze, customers spent $105.3 million on gas to heat their homes.

Tristan Gearhart, chief planning and finance officer at Utilities, said that the utility cut long-term purchasing agreements to ensure prices won’t spike as they did in February to protect customers.

You can lose money when you agree to buy gas at a specific price in advance if the price drops unexpectedly, but that is not expected this winter.

Some residents have cited the closure of the coal generators at the Martin Drake Power Plant as the rate increases.

Through the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, residents in need of assistance with their utility bills can apply. Income limits for the program were recently increased.

Alternatives like Solar Energy Systems

Heating and cooling with water from solar panels and heat pumps can reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and, in some cases, the cost of delivered energy for residential use. A logical extension of each would be to combine them to reduce the cost of energy delivery further. Although combined solar heat pump systems are widely believed to be energy-efficient, it is not always apparent how much energy can be saved and how the savings compare with the extra cost.

Researchers, architects, engineers, manufacturers, building owners, and the general marketplace are becoming more interested in solar heat pumps. It’s primarily the higher temperature level, when available, that makes solar radiation an appealing heat source for heat pumps, resulting in higher coefficients of performance (COP). Solar heating systems without a heat pump have a lower collector temperature required, resulting in a significant increase in efficiency and capacity.

 

It would appear that combining a heat pump with a solar energy system would remedy many of the disadvantages both systems have when operated separately. To power the heat pump, it is possible to use heat from the solar panels collected during winter, but at low temperatures that are not suitable for direct heating. Solar collector storage systems can supply energy at a higher temperature than ambient outdoor air, which increases a heat pump’s capacity and coefficient of performance, reduces the need for auxiliary load at peak times, and can reduce heating costs.

Solar systems operating at temperatures near or below room temperature can reduce collector losses and capture more energy. With the lower collection temperature, collectors with one or no covers might be used, which would result in a lower initial investment compared to a conventional two-cover system.

In areas where the weather is warm during cloudy periods, the combined system could compensate for the reduced performance of conventional solar panels under cloudy conditions and the low heat pump effectiveness in cold conditions.

Environmental Impacts of Solar Power

In comparison to some dangerous electricity-generating technologies, solar energy is now a well-established, intrinsically safe technology. More than two tons of greenhouse gases can be avoided by a 100 W module. During operation and maintenance, solar energy systems cause no noise pollution. Compared to other forms of electric energy, photovoltaic cells pose comparatively fewer environmental risks. PV cells, however, could release hazardous chemicals into the air, surface water, groundwater, and disposal sites.

Depending on the type of cell being manufactured, different chemicals will be used. The chemical information reported in the United States about six solar energy companies producing solar cells suggests that most of the substances used by the companies are not released in sufficient quantities.

By air stack emissions and fugitive air emissions, photovoltaic facilities released chemical substances into the atmosphere. Because their location determines the level of ecological impact, a system’s function is crucial. Nevertheless, solar amenities on a larger scale may cause concerns about land degradation. By installing utility-scale solar systems on abandoned mining land or existing transmission lines, impacts to utility-scale solar systems can be reduced.

FAQ’s

What is the impact of Solar on my property value?

A solar energy system can increase both the ease of resale and the property value of a home.

Is it possible to damage your roof by installing solar panels?

As long as your roof is in good condition and your solar panels are installed by a qualified and licensed professional, solar panels will not damage it.

When does a solar panel’s warranty expire?

Solar panels typically come with a 25- to 30-year warranty. The guarantee typically ensures that the production of the panels will not fall below a specified percentage of degradation. Your warranty covers any defects in the workmanship or materials. The installation warranty will vary according to the installer.

What are the financial benefits of solar?

Your electric bill will decrease with solar energy systems, and you will be protected from future rate increases. Depending on local policies and utility rates, solar power can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year.

 

Thank you for reading!

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