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Coal use declines by 4 percent in 2018, but that’s still not fast enough

It’s long been standard operating procedure for utility companies to generate electricity by burning fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. Coal is the far dirtier source of fuel in this process, so it’s great to read that 2018 coal consumption in the U.S. is expected to drop by 4 percent from 2017 to the lowest point it’s been since 1979, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Take a look at the chart that shows the decline in coal consumption since 2007, when the nation was using 44 percent more coal than now.

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This 39-year low for coal usage is outstanding news from an environmental perspective and speaks to the rise of natural gas and renewable energy sources like solar panels. But beyond the massive amounts of greenhouse gases that coal produces and the coal ash that is problematic in its own right, maybe there’s another reason why coal is becoming less popular. Could old habits be dying hard here in this case?

But seriously, even as utility companies move away from using coal (the EIA forecasts that coal use will drop by another 8 percent in 2019), they are using natural gas as the primary replacement, and the combustion of natural gas still sends greenhouse gases into the sky that affect the Earth’s climate. Natural gas usage is simply a temporary fix that allows power companies to show progress to its customers in providing energy via cleaner sources.

But the thing is, you don’t have to wait for utility providers to stop using fossil fuels altogether to benefit from carbon-free energy sources like solar panels. By installing a solar system at your home, you can insulate yourself from rate increases imposed by utility companies as they maintain and upgrade their power grids. For example, Duke Energy Progress customers in North Carolina will be paying nearly 12 percent more for power in 2019 than they did at the start of 2018. That’s a huge jump. In fact, power rates for residential electricity have risen nearly 70 percent in the U.S. since 2001. Wow!

Solar systems installed by POWERHOME Solar allow homeowners to go solar for $0 up-front cost, save money on their electric bills, and generate their own clean energy. The solar panels installed on your home come with a 30-year warranty, with many panels expected to last well beyond that.

Please feel free to fill out the form below or contact POWERHOME Solar at 800-765-2715, and one of our solar representatives will help you determine whether your home qualifies for this program.

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