Solar 101: Go Solar Now or Wait?
Deciding to go solar is a big decision, this is why a lot of our customers ask us if they should go solar now or wait a month or even a year. We understand the dilemma as it is a big purchase. However, with this purchase you will be saving money and contributing to a cleaner environment for all. Another aspect to consider is that the price of solar has declined. This is due to the advancements in technology, the increase in manufacturing, and increased efficiencies which have brought the price of solar down by 70% in less than 10 years! What you do need to keep in mind is that this doesn’t mean that the price of solar will continue to decrease like it has or that your return will be greater if you wait. In most cases going solar now will be more beneficial. The two main reasons are the cost of solar equipment and the incentives and credits currently available.
The cost of solar equipment is at an all time low, which is great if you are looking to go solar! The soft or non-hardware costs now comprise most of the costs associated with a solar system. This means that the decline of the cost of solar equipment is now inconsequential. The overhead costs and expense of the system design, permitting, interconnection, and installation will likely remain the same. Therefore, waiting for lower costs on the solar system may not be beneficial due to the money you could be saving on your utility bills by going solar now.
If you go solar now, you can significantly lower the initial cost of your system by as much as 70% due to the incentives in place! If you do decide to wait, keep in mind that after 2019, the 30% federal tax credit (ITC) for residential solar will decrease by around 14% every year until it expires after 2021. By 2022, there will not be any ITC except for the 10% for commercial-scale solar. There are also state incentives that are depleting and there is always the possibility of change to incentives and rebates due to political changes. Therefore, in most cases it is more beneficial to take advantage of the tax credits and incentives that are available now.
When you are considering solar as a form of investment, it’s important to compare the short-term cost with the long-term cost. It might not seem a lot to pay a couple hundred dollars in electric bills on top of your mortgage payment each month. However, electric bills can really add up especially with the 3% increase in cost every year.
Investing in solar is a lot like investing in a house. It would be great if you could pay in full, out of your pocket so you no longer have to worry about the cost of electricity. Even if you can’t, you can utilize all the financing options available to you and simply trade your electric payment for a smaller solar payment. Your monthly solar payment will be the same every year and once it’s paid off, you can enjoy the free clean energy for decades to come!
Also, having a solar system on your home has been shown to increase the value of it. Therefore, you have the perk of saving money on your electric bill and an increased home value, which is great if you decide to sell it. The financial savings are well worth going solar sooner rather than later.