We all know that in recent years the cost of solar installations has plummeted. In fact, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the average price for a residential system is 70% less than the cost in 2010. Of course, this is incredible for today’s consumers, with solar being an affordable, environmentally friendly option we can all do our part! However, it also drives the question for some: should I go solar now or wait for the cost to drop even lower? This guide will outline five reasons why now is the best time to go solar.
1: Rising prices for electricity cutting into potential savings:
Although some areas of the country experience more dramatic increases in the cost of utilities, on average over the past ten years the price of electricity has increased by at least 9%. This trend is expected to continue as the cost of natural gas increases. In contrast, the cost of solar continues to drop, and every year that you wait to go solar is another year that you are losing out on saving money on your electricity! The average monthly electricity bill in the U.S. is around $128, that’s over $1500 per year. If you invest in a solar system today that matches the entirety of your household need, you will end the year with an extra $1500 in your pocket, and as cost of utilities rises, you will see a growth in your savings each year to follow!
2: Reduction in financial incentive with growth in popularity:
One of the most substantial financial incentives to go solar now is the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which is a federal incentive that, as of 2020, offers 26% of the cost of your solar system. This tax credit, established in 2006, exists to encourage homeowners to go solar. In 2021 the percentage can be expected to drop to 26% and in the following years will phase out entirely. Some states offer similar programs, but as residential solar increases in popularity, the government incentive programs will phase out.
3: Net Metering Policies:
Many states across the US have active statewide net metering policies. Net metering is a solar incentive and billing mechanism that allows solar system owners to receive credits for excess energy produced. This works as an exchange as your solar system will produce more energy during the day which will be sent to the grid in return for energy credits, then at night, or other times when they are underproducing, credits can be used to pull energy back from the grid. Some common characteristics of most net metering programs include a size limit for qualifying energy producers and a statewide limit to qualifying capacity, which is often .01% of a utility’s peak load. Minnesota and Wisconsin are two states that stand out to have incredible statewide net metering policies, allowing solar generators to be credited at the going retail rate for electricity. Their policies also allow customers with larger sized systems to use net metering.
4: Increase home equity:
Research shows that homes with solar have an increased resale value, and also sell faster than homes without. If you go solar today, you will experience many benefits that exceed the financial savings. For every year that you wait to go solar, you are spending money purchasing electricity from the power company that you could be putting back into your home equity! Studies show that home buyers are also willing to pay a premium of $4 per Watt on homes with solar, so even if you think that you may move in the next three to five years, going solar could still save you money now and pay itself off while making you a profit during the resale process.
5: Amazing $0-down financial options make going solar easy:
There are many excellent financing options available that make the process of going solar easy and affordable for those that don’t have the cash to make an upfront purchase. Plenty of these programs require $0 down so you can avoid paying out of pocket and start taking advantage of the benefits of solar! Although the value in waiting for costs to decrease further could be beneficial in some ways, be sure to consider the opportunity costs that you may lose by waiting.
Solar technologies are advancing every day, and prices are plummeting. Although installing a solar system at any time will start generating savings and have many benefits, the best time to act is now when you can take advantage of all the excellent incentives that are available. Contact Everlight Solar today to receive a quote for a customized solar system, and be sure to ask your solar consultant about the financial incentives available to you.