Sunrun Sees Your Rising Utility Bill as a Bull Case for Solar

Your power bill is about to rise. And that’s a potential boon for the rooftop solar industry.

 Lynn JurichPhotographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Lynn JurichPhotographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Lynn Jurich, chief executive officer of the biggest U.S. residential solar company, Sunrun Inc., warned Wednesday that the billions of dollars that utilities are proposing to spend on new poles and wires is going to raise electricity rates. Those higher prices are going to give consumers a good reason to ditch the grid and install rooftop solar panels instead, she said.

Utilities are about to “go into this huge spend cycle,” even though U.S. electricity demand is expected to remain flat, Jurich said in an interview Wednesday at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters. “That’ll make it more desirable for homeowners to do solar.”

Jurich’s projection sets the stage for a new front in the clash between traditional power utilities and the rooftop solar industry. They’re already at odds over how much panel owners should get paid for their power. Now utilities are pushing for grid upgrades that Sunrun sees as unnecessary.

The San Francisco-based company cites research from the Rocky Mountain Institute, showing that the monthly utility bill for a typical house in New York’s Westchester County may reach $350 a month in 2030. The same customer could spend $260 a month for solar panels and a battery backup system, potentially going off the grid entirely.

That’s one scenario. But Sunrun isn’t advocating for utilities... Read the rest of the story on Bloomberg.com HERE