**Title: The Growing Concerns Over Rising Electricity Costs and Power Grid Reliability**
**Subtitle: The Link between Rising Electricity Prices, Power Grid Reliability, and Homeowners’ Desire for Energy Independence**
The Department of Energy’s Warning
The Department of Energy recently issued a warning that two-thirds of the U.S. is at risk of power outages this summer. This highlights the increasing concerns among homeowners about the reliability of the aging power grid and the rising costs of electricity. As a result, homeowners are looking for alternatives to reduce their reliance on the power grid and the electric utilities.
Rising Electricity Prices
While the media has focused on the inflated prices of eggs and butter, electricity prices have quietly increased at twice the rate of overall inflation in 2022. The rising prices are alarming homeowners, and according to Aurora Solar’s Industry Snapshot, 62% of homeowners expect further increases in energy prices.
Concerns About Power Outages
Homeowners are not only frustrated with the high price of electricity, but they are also worried about power outages. Around 48% of homeowners express concerns about power outages caused by weather events, closely followed by worries about cyber attacks on the power grid.
The Electrification Movement
Despite the growing concerns about power grid reliability and rising costs, homeowners are actively embracing the electrification of their homes. They are purchasing electric heat pumps, stoves, clothes dryers, and electric vehicles (EVs). With major vehicle manufacturers committing to ambitious electric vehicle targets, EVs are set to make a significant impact in the near future.
Higher Electric Bills
The consequence of increased electrification is higher electric bills due to increased consumption. Homeowners who are part of a tiered pricing utility structure, where rates vary based on energy usage, may end up paying more for every unit of energy they use. Many new electric vehicle owners are surprised by this when they receive their first electric bill.
The First Step towards Energy Independence
Although the electrification movement may seem counterintuitive given the concerns about the power grid, it is actually the first step towards energy independence. Homeowners are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their growing bills caused by the electrification of their homes.
The Growth of Solar
One trend that can help reconcile the conflicting movements of electrification and concerns about the power grid is the growth of solar power. Almost 77% of homeowners either have solar panels or are interested in purchasing them. The popularity of solar is evident in the nearly 40% year-over-year increase in residential solar projects across the U.S. in 2022.
Affordability of Solar
The declining cost of solar is contributing to its increasing popularity. The total cost of a residential solar system has decreased by over 65% in the past decade, making it more accessible to homeowners. Legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has further increased solar’s affordability and popularity by restoring the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to its original 30% credit, extending it until 2032.
Solar’s Role in Energy Independence
Solar adoption alone can help address the increased electricity demand caused by the electrification of homes. However, to achieve energy independence and security, homeowners also need residential battery storage. This combination of solar and storage allows homeowners to decouple electricity generation from consumption, providing them with more control over their energy usage.
Increased Interest in Battery Storage
Notably, 82% of solar professionals have observed an increased interest in battery storage from homeowners. This combination of solar and storage empowers homeowners to become less reliant on the power grid and ensures they have power during emergencies or when electricity prices are at their highest.
The Outlook for Home Electrification
Despite concerns about the power grid and rising electricity costs, homeowners are actively adopting home electrification. As this trend continues to gain momentum, solar and battery storage installations are expected to surge.
**About the Author**
Chris Hopper is the CEO and co-founder of Aurora Solar.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are solely the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of Fortune.