The Federal Reserve just released the minutes from its March 21 meeting, and the news is anything but good.
The central bankers are projecting “a mild recession starting later this year" that's expected to persist well into 2025.
That may not be all that surprising, however, considering that almost 60% of Americans believed we're already in a recession that started over the summer.
Of course, even if all this pessimism turns out to be unwarranted, a recession is bound to occur sometime in the future. The economy, like life in general, has its ups and downs—and every once in a while, you're going to get hit with a major down.
That doesn’t mean you should be complacent. On the contrary, knowing something is coming means there's less of an excuse for getting caught flat-footed.
And it turns out that one of the easiest ways to create a haven of stability during turbulent economic times is to take advantage of the energy independence provided by solar power.
Taking care of essentials
After all, there may be a lot of items you can forego when the economy goes south. But electricity is decidedly NOT one of them. Nowadays, it ranks up there with food, clothing, and shelter as the fourth necessity of life.
Nonetheless, apart from noticing that the price keeps going up, most of us don’t give much thought to the electrical current that powers our home.
But the reason rate hikes are inevitable is that utility-generated power is essentially nothing more than processed fossil fuels.
Around 40% of the nation’s power supply comes from burning natural gas, with other fossil fuels accounting for another 20%.
That’s why one of the factors currently driving the global economy into recession is soaring fossil fuel prices. As a result, electric rates have also been skyrocketing.
When a recession does inevitably strike, many Americans will find they have less money to spend as they watch their electric bills soar even higher.
But homeowners who had the foresight to install solar panels won’t be among them.
They’ve made themselves immune to the vicissitudes of utility company rate hikes by locking in a low electricity rate for the 25-to-30-year lifespan of their panels.
Peace of mind
Imagine you've been transported back in time to 1992, when a gallon of gas went for a paltry $1.13.
Suppose your local gas station had offered to let you prepay for 10,000 gallons at that price back then.
For anyone who drives regularly, it would have been foolish not to take such a deal given how much gas prices have increased in the interim.
When you install solar panels, you’re essentially getting the same deal by paying a lump sum upfront for all the electricity they'll generate throughout their 25-to-30-year lifetime.
The solar power boom
Solar power is booming. Total US residential solar capacity has grown from less than 200 megawatts in 2007 to over 25,000 megawatts. And the pace is still accelerating, with 2021 marking the industry’s fifth consecutive year of record-breaking growth.
Why are Americans turning to solar power in such record numbers?
The answer is simple: 25-to-30 years of free electricity at a price that works out to be substantially lower than the rate they’re currently paying.
Going solar is saving them money even putting current concerns about the economy aside.
Unfortunately, if the central bankers at the Federal Reserve are right, those concerns are justified and we're about to get hit with the one-two punch of soaring energy prices during a major economic downturn.
So these days, it makes even more sense to give yourself one less thing to worry about by locking in a low electric rate with solar power.