Most people think of seniors as being very conservative when it comes to their energy usage patterns, especially when it comes to heating and cooling. After all, seniors usually prefer to stay at home as much as possible, and avoid going outside if they are not feeling particularly well.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Seniors are some of the most active and innovative groups of people when it comes to sustainable energy usage, and their efforts to save on energy bills are nothing short of incredible.
In fact, the senior population in the US (those over 65) is the largest consumer of energy in the country. In 2017, the US consumed 17% of the world’s energy, and more than half of that (8.7%) was consumed by people over 65. In 2025, it’s expected that the older population will consume 19% of the world’s energy.
What’s more, people in the US have the greatest expectation to consume more energy than they do. Specifically, they expect their power bill will go down by 12% in the next five years (2020- 2025).
So what’s causing this drastic shift in energy usage, and how can solar assist in making energy more affordable for this population?
First and foremost, and as mentioned above, people in the US have the greatest expectation to consume less energy. In the last decade, climate change has become a prominent issue, and many see renewable energy as a viable and important solution. In particular, solar energy, as a zero-emission form of energy, is a great fit for this population.
In fact, since 2011, the cost of solar energy has decreased by 64%, and it’s expected that between 2020 and 2025 the cost of solar will continue to decline. In 2020 alone, the cost of solar energy has decreased by 27%.
This is largely due to the fact that more and more people are going green, and seeing the benefits of solar energy, especially in terms of cost-effectiveness and the environment. Not only that, but many seniors are choosing to go green in general, and as a result are reducing their consumption of many other forms of energy, specifically electricity.
The bottom line is that more and more people are seeing the light, and understanding the value that solar provides for energy security, climate change mitigation, and cost-effectiveness. As these benefits become more and more apparent, cost-conscious seniors will continue to turn to solar in droves.
More Than Meets The Eye
While it’s true that seniors are reducing their energy usage and turning to solar energy as a result, it’s not only about that. There are numerous other, more practical reasons why solar is a perfect fit for this population. For instance, let’s take a look at the benefits of solar for seniors, and how it can help in managing their health and energy needs.
Wellness and safety are always a major concern for the elderly, and more than a few people have pointed out the healthcare and safety benefits that solar provides. First and foremost, having more control over the timing of when your lights come on and off, and being able to limit the number of times that they come on, can improve your mental health and quality of life, especially if you’re not feeling well.
In addition, there have been numerous reports that show that spending time in the sun improves your mental and physical health, and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other similar neurological conditions. So it’s not only about conserving energy, but about improving your quality of life, and potentially helping you live longer too! Not a bad trade-off if you ask me.
More Efficient Utilization Of Energy
One of the major issues with regard to energy in the US is that more and more people aren’t being properly utilized. As mentioned above, since 2011, the cost of solar energy has decreased by 64%, and it’s expected that between 2020 and 2025 more and more people will turn to solar to help reduce their energy bills.
And what’s more is that solar energy isn’t just limited to homes. There has been a rise in the popularity of small-scale solar, specifically for boats and RVs. Why? Well, because more and more people are understanding the benefits that solar provides, like more efficient utilization of energy, cost-effectiveness, and security. Many are also seeing the value that it provides for the environment.
The point is that many people are realizing the benefits of solar, and are turning to it, whether it’s in their homes or on the side of the road. In fact, since 2011, the popularity of solar boats has increased by 132%, and it’s expected that this form of energy will continue to grow in the coming years. So not only is solar helping reduce energy bills, but it’s also helping to improve the environment by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
Reducing Energy Bills
One of the main reasons that solar energy usage has increased so much over the last decade is because more and more people have turned to it to help reduce their energy bills. Specifically, since 2011, the price of solar energy has decreased by 64%, and it’s expected that this trend will continue in the coming years. In fact, since 2020, the cost of solar energy has decreased by 27%. That’s a lot of savings!
It’s important to note here that while the cost of solar energy has decreased, the cost of fossil fuels has increased. So while it’s great that more and more people are choosing to go green, it also means that they’re paying more for their energy. But that’s a price that most are willing to pay, as going green is proving to be so beneficial to their health and well-being, as well as the environment. So while it’s great that solar is helping to make energy more affordable, it’s also important to remember that the cost of this sustainable energy is still considerable.
Just as with many other things in life, cost-effectiveness is one of the major driving forces behind much of the growth in solar energy. Specifically, as prices drop and the technology improves, more and more people, especially in the senior population, will choose to go green, as it’s simply beneficial for their pocketbooks as well as the environment.
In addition to helping to improve the environment, reducing costs, and being cost-effective, solar energy also provides people with a sense of peace and security. After all, if you live your life dependent on the energy grid, then there’s always the risk of energy shortages, power outages, and other similar emergencies.
So while it’s great that more and more people are turning to solar energy, it’s also important to remember that these individuals and communities still need power reserves in case of an energy emergency or shortage. Having solar energy as part of your emergency backup plan is essential for all people, but it’s even more vital for those who are prone to energy scares and blackouts, like the elderly and those with health issues.
It’s a common misconception that going green in general, and specifically with solar energy, is only about saving money. While it’s true that much of the growth in solar energy is due to cost-effectiveness and the environment, there are numerous other, more practical reasons why solar energy is a viable and important choice for people.