Would you spend $11.65 on a cup of coffee?

Danny Kennedy Posted by Danny Kennedy.

Danny is a global authority on environmental issues and a successful clean-tech entrepreneur.


Would you spend $11.65 on a cup of coffee?

Let’s be honest: no. You’d take matters into your own hands and finally start brewing your coffee at home, like you’d always intended to.

The good news is that coffee doesn’t cost $11.65 today, nor will it 20 years from now. But it might if coffee prices were increasing at the same rate as your electricity bill.

Say that the average price of coffee from national coffee chains is $4.00 today. If prices continue to go up at the same rate they have over the previous 20 years  (2.09% per year, approximately the same rate as inflation), that same cup of coffee will cost about $6.05 in 2035.

Imagine now that the price of your coffee increased at the same rate as your electricity bill. Take Maryland, for example, where the price of electricity has increased at an average rate of 5.49% per year over the previous 10 years.* At that rate, a $4 cup of coffee would cost $11.65 in 2035.pge-blog-chart

What does that add up to? For a daily coffee drinker, that amounts to spending $17,103.45 more in the next 20 years, an increase of nearly $1,000 per year.

So when PG&E recently announced a rate increase that added $5.23 to the average homeowner’s monthly bill, or when National Grid issued winter utility bills that were 37% higher than last year’s, why didn’t their customers switch to another electricity provider?

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That’s because many Americans don’t have a choice – their utility is the only electricity provider in their region.

Or, we should say, didn’t have a choice – until now. Home solar energy now offers many homeowners a predictable and sometimes cheaper way to generate electricity. It’s like being able to lock in the price of coffee at $4 for the next twenty years and using the thousands you save for a few vacations to Hawaii.

Don’t take our word for it. Research your options. The beauty of solar is that you now have the freedom to choose.pge-blog-sun

Click here to see the states Sungevity currently serves. Visit the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) website to learn more about electricity rates in your state. Have other questions? Let us know in the comments below.

* Data taken from the EIA’s Electric Power Monthly, “Average Retail Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers”, in December 2004 and September 2014. The rate of electricity varies by state and utility. Visit the EIA website for more information.