Going Solar Reduces Health Costs

Going solar reduces health costs  – a new reason to make the shift from fossil fuels to solar energy.  The World Health Organization reports that millions die each year from unhealthy environment, air pollution notably the largest contributor to diseases like stroke, cancers, chronic respiratory illnesses and heart disease. In a new study published June 1, 2017 in Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, a team from MIT used WHO data as well as other sources to calculate the cost of burning coal in terms of human lives along with the potential benefits of switching to solar.  They gathered data from peer-reviewed journals and the Environmental Protection Agency to calculate US deaths per kilowatt hour per year for both coal and solar. The research team contends that “by transitioning to solar photovoltaics (PV) in the US, up to 51,999 American lives would be saved at $1.1 million invested per life.”  That is significant cost benefit of making the shift to solar.

Why Go Solar?

We all know that there are many reasons to take advantage of the free and abundant power of the sun.  The first and foremost reason, of course, is that utilizing solar energy to power our planet is better for the environment than burning fossil fuels to generate the energy we need.  Unless you chose to ignore the data, it is clear that burning the fossil fuels negatively affects our environment because the process releases carbon dioxide and other gases – called greenhouse gases – that trap heat within the Earth’s atmosphere.  Too much of these greenhouse gases that are released by the burning of fossil fuels is contributing to global climate change.

Health Care Cost Savings of Going Solar

But studies like the one conducted by MIT put a different perspective on why we should switch to solar.  We can save lives and the money associated with the cost of diseases associated with air pollution.   If the number one reason for making the shift to solar energy is to decrease the amount of greenhouse gases we are releasing into the atmosphere, a second reason – highlighted by this new study – is that we can dramatically improve the quality of life for humans and reduce the health costs associated with breathing bad air.  Joshua Pearce, a professor of materials science and electrical engineering at Michigan Tech, says “There’s roughly seven million people who die globally from air pollution every year, so getting rid of coal could take a big chunk out of that number as well.”

Here is an excerpt from a study conducted by the Rand Corporation in 2010 regarding the relationship between health issues and air pollution in California: “Breathing polluted air is bad for us. The adverse health effects are well established, ranging from minor restrictions in activity to emergency room (ER) visits for asthma, hospitalizations for respiratory and cardiovascular causes, and premature mortality. Many studies have assessed how air pollution harms health, but little is known about who pays for pollution-related medical care. If this care imposes substantial burdens on private insurers, employers, or public programs such as Medicare, then all of these payers have substantial stakes in improving air quality.”

RAND estimated that, overall, failing to meet federal clean air standards caused nearly 30,000 hospital admissions and ER visits throughout California over 2005–2007.  Extrapolate that data to the US as a whole or to the planet and it is clear that the cost impact of dirty air in terms of health care cost is significant.

So, if you are considering going solar – to help save the planet, to save on utilities or to protect your health – contact us at Venture Home Solar today.  Learn more by visiting our website or calling us at 800-203-4158.  One of our solar experts at Venture Home Solar can help answer your questions as well as provide you with our experienced analysis of what you need as a home or business owner to “go solar.”  NY is a leader in solar technology – you can be too!