Why Solar Panels Are A Great Investment

If you’re at all interested in the environment — or, more precisely, electricity — you may be surprised to learn that an investment in Solar panels is now widely seen as a great investment, not a waste of money. In the latest report published by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions the rise of renewable energy that has been happening over the past 20 years:

The market size of renewable energy is growing just as fast as coal — up from virtually nothing to 24% of the global electricity market in 2016. Though the majority of generated electricity came from hydropower, by 2050, wind and solar energy could well overtake coal as the leading source of electricity accounting for approximately 50% of world electricity.

And although environmental concerns can be cited as a driving force behind this massive spatial shift towards renewable energy, what truly constitutes the underlying impetus is the aggressive reductions in the cost for solar panels made possible by the recent advancement of technology and conducive policies.

3 Reasons Why Solar Panels Are A Great Investment

1. Price Drop & Improved ROI

As of June 17, the price of solar panels had dropped by 62% (average annual decrease) [1]. That means that homeowners and businesses can install these low-cost panels and generate more electricity at lower costs than ever.

According to SunWorks (a leading provider of social solutions operating in the United States), a typical 5 kW solar installation can easily yield up to 20% return on investment in the first year [2]. That’s another reason to buy solar panels and its good news for those individuals who fear bulk upfront cost.

The new economics of solar also means the cost of electricity is on an even playing field with conventional fossil fuels. And always remember, there isn’t any such thing as a free lunch. In other words, there isn’t any such thing as free energy.

But in addition to making good investment sense, solar panels are also a very good idea for the environment and climate change.

2. Solar Panels Make Greenhouse Gas Emissions Go Down

First of all, let’s be clear about how much electricity we can get from solar. Even at the earlier price levels, the return on solar power is high enough to offset about three-quarters of the energy produced by coal, the most common type of fossil fuel. Because the cost of solar panels is plummeting, the return on solar power is rising rapidly.

But what’s more, the decline in the cost of solar panels is contributing to the decline in the cost of electricity. As wind turbines and other similar technologies become cheaper as well, the overall cost of electricity will come down.

3. Support from Government

The federal government has pushed more aggressive solar policy, but it has also encouraged the development of renewable energy by funding giant research projects, encouraging the use of solar energy in federal buildings, and auctioning off clean energy permits to all comers.

In fact, on February 5, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it would provide $125.5 million in fresh funding to support and advance research on improving the efficiency of solar panels.

Also, this year 2020, you can get a 26% FTC (Federal Tax Credit) on your solar panel investment. This means that for every thousand dollars spent ($1000), you will receive a tax credit of $260 back.


The long-term benefits of investing in solar panels are not only “personal” monetary savings, but also include technological advances, carbon emission reductions, job creation and taxes. And if all this isn’t enough to make solar panels attractive, consider that soon, you’ll no longer have to depend on your electricity provider for most of your power needs.

The benefits for the environment, the economy, and a greener planet for our future generation, for the first time in recorded history, will be realized, when renewable energy becomes the norm. And by investing in solar panels, you can be a part of it.


  1. https://www.sunrun.com/solar-lease/cost-of-solar
  2. https://sunworksusa.com/resources/calculating-roi/

Solar Panels And The Federal Tax Credit For 2020

There are many reasons why installing a solar panel for your home and/or your business may be one of the smartest investments you can make these days. Solar energy is clean and renewable and it also helps you save money on your electric bills.

Despite the financial and environmental benefits that solar panels provide, many people still point to the costs of installing these systems as their biggest hurdle.

However, the price of solar has declined by more than over 70% since 2006 and will drop further the more people install them. In addition, industry insiders estimate that every time the production of panels doubles, solar prices can potentially fall as far as 20%. For information on solar panels in Albuquerque, visit our Solar Solutions Albuquerque page here https://www.solarsolutions-texas.com/solar-panels-albuquerque/.

Solar Energy is going mainstream

It’s becoming increasingly evident that the price of solar will come close to, and in some cases, will even match the price of traditional energy in many US states. The US Government is certainly doing their part in helping solar become mainstream for both homes and businesses.

The Federal Solar Tax Incentive for 2020, also known as the investment tax credit (ITC), allows both home and business owners to deduct up to 26% of the cost to install a solar energy system from their federal taxes.

We’ll take a look at some of the details regarding this bill so you can take advantage of the credit before the rate is lowered next year.

What is the Federal Solar Tax Credit for 2020?

In 2020 you can get a tax credit of 26% which can mean thousands of dollars in savings when you switch to solar. For example, if your residential solar panel costs $15,000 to install, you’re eligible to claim a credit on your 2020 tax return of $3,900.

It’s important to note, however, that the federal ITC rate is set to be lowered in 2021 to 22% and will eventually be eliminated by 2022. In other words, there’s no better time than now to give your home or business an upgrade with a solar energy system.

The federal ITC of 26% applies to both homes and businesses and currently has no cap on its value. Here are some additional details for how this credit affects both homes and businesses.

What kind of expenses are covered under the ITC?

The process of installing a solar panel for your home or business may seem overwhelmingly difficult and technical. However, that’s why you should also hire a team of solar panel installation professionals who can ensure that your system runs safely and efficiently, and can provide support and guidance when you need it.

That being said, it is important to know what kind of expenses are eligible to claim for credit on your federal tax return for 2020. Here are some of the most common expenses covered under the ITC:

  • Solar PV panels or cells used to power your ceiling fan.
  • Cost of labor for onsite inspection and preparation, developer fees, assembly and even permitting fees.
  • Balancing of the system equipment including the wiring, inverters, and the actual mounting of the equipment.
  • You can also include the sales taxes on eligible expenses.

Get in touch with your local solar energy professionals, Solar Solutions, today to start enjoying the benefits of solar energy and how you can save money under the federal ITC.

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The Coronavirus Shifts The Demand For Solar And Batteries

The Shift To “Self-Reliance”

I’ve found out that people are moved by motivation despite any difficult situation they are in. Therefore, having the right experience and understanding of a commodity doesn’t mean that others have the same experience as you do. In this coronavirus pandemic, people are wanting to be prepared in case of a total electric grid crash. We at Solar Solutions take this pandemic very seriously and are here to help in any way we can. Let us help you be prepared!

Hence, in this season of global coronavirus outbreak, the shift of the solar industry has shifted from supply to demand.

“The foreign exchange will be one of the major impacts of prices on solar panels.” Panels, inverters, and other expenses of the components will be affected, and the base price will most likely increase. It will change the bottom-line. “And that is because of the effects of the novel pandemic coronavirus. The solar industries have therefore moved from supply to demand as China’s manufacturers resume business-almost-as-usual, but the local economy is bracing for a big blow.

Everyone wants to either purchase or sell solar commodities, and everyone is looking to either make or save money. Consumers could not ask for a better time to invest in solar panels for their home or office in these uncertain times.

Industry leaders conducted a webinar on the effect of COVID-19 on society in general, and in particular on rooftop solar and battery storage industry this past Thursday morning in a Smart Energy Council. Solar remains one of the “lucky” sectors in the current crisis, being so closely linked to an important utility, and one of the few projects that can confidently claim to deliver substantial cost savings to households and businesses in ever more unpredictable times.

In this webinar, there were many dignitaries present, giving their consent concerning solar for households. They addressed and stressed the fact that battery storage might be a good time to start gaining ground in the residential market, as solar households are looking for ways to make the most of their rooftop electricity, what with everyone working and schooling from home.

Sam Craft, NRG Solar’s operations manager, who is also on the SEC’s board, gave his opinion that the emphasis must be on developing self-reliant family solutions. The storage of batteries plays a crucial role in providing sufficient power to your home. Retailers have registered fewer household inquiries regarding rooftop solar, but an increase in leads on battery storage and blackout security.

“We have (some) saying that their number of (rooftop solar) leads are down, but that the value of those leads is up,” thanks to the addition of battery storage, Craft said.

Such battery storage stabilizes the rooftop solar value in such a way that all you need is to either charge the solar battery or get a new battery while the solar on the rooftop is still working correctly.

Lliam Ricketts

Lliam Ricketts, owner of the Brisbane solar distributor Supply Partners, having studied the recent global happening and the decline in rooftop solar demand, retailers and installers should be calling for a rise in system costs, off the back of the US and Australian dollar drop. However, due to the increase in the tax break on capital purchases by the federal government, commercial solar, and particularly the 100kW-plus segment, may serve as a potential rooftop solar development.

All the retailers need to do is have a genuine dialogue with their clients, enlightening them about the generous support from the federal government. This is a huge benefit to consumers as this year in 2020, the federal government is offering up to a 26% Federal Tax Credit for those who purchase and install solar panels on their property.

John Grimes

John Grimes, the SEC CEO, believes that many solar businesses can survive even under severe economic recession, just as the solar rooftop industry does because some people still make a lot of money from solar sales on the rooftop in every economic recession. Having said that, many consumers will also benefit from the installation of solar panels and battery backup systems as the Federal Government will allow a 26% tax credit to them. Also, the lower in electricity bills is beneficial to the consumer as this allows a significant amount of savings on a yearly basis.

Therefore, even when overseas markets shift nearly minute by minute, the key message was that now is not the time to become complacent – not on OH&S and not on smart business strategy.

Grimes clarified how this Coronavirus has spread rapidly since its initial outbreak in Wuhan, China. Installer companies should, therefore, take the threat of contagion seriously, they must ensure sufficient “social distancing” strategies in place to protect their employees from its contamination while providing services.

Treat elderly customers carefully and let them know that you have clear policies and processes to provide facilities without getting anywhere near them. This is why Solar Solutions is offering all meetings via phone and video conference! Our main goal is to help our consumers not only save money but to keep them safe by practicing Social Distancing.

Many inquiries regarding solar panel and battery backup systems, are still on the uprise as many are looking at “self-reliance”, meaning that people are looking at ways to protect themselves from the worse.

Geoff Bragg

Solar’s managing director and an occasional contributor to One Step Off The Grid, Geoff Bragg, said he had varying industry reports. Compared to other sectors of the economy, solar is well placed although there are people who are still very nervous. We at Solar Solutions are dedicated to making sure that we handle these times with care and professionalism.

There’s no chance that residential demand will go down. So he indicated that solar business workers would think about providing a financing plan for fast product sales so that people can seek self-reliance thinking ahead. Since the company saves people from spending on diesel in an elegant way, they can start marketing. Remember also to uphold the credibility of the company when addressing a crisis.

If you are ready to take advantage of these trying times and want to hear how we can help you, please get in touch with us and one of our professionals will be happy to assist you. Please continue to practice social distancing and be safe.

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Why Installing Solar Panels Can Be Beneficial

Photovoltaic solar panels are used to convert sunlight into electricity. The electricity generated is not only free of cost, but it’s also clean because it doesn’t produce any of the greenhouse gas emissions that traditional fossil-fuel sources produce.

There are many benefits to be gained by switching to solar energy to power up your home or business. For starters, renewable energy like solar power is a lot cleaner for the environment and the costs have quickly caught up with its non-renewable counterpart: fossil fuels.

Here are just some of the many benefits that solar energy can provide:

  1. Solar energy reduces carbon emissions and protects the environment:
    Solar energy is clean and renewable which means that there are no carbon footprints that are left behind to potentially cause damage to the environment.
  2. Solar energy promotes energy independence:
    It’s a well-known fact that many nations rely on other nations for their oil and fuel sources. Oftentimes, these resources can become bargaining chips which leaves nations having to accept deals that would otherwise be deemed as less than ideal.

While these benefits certainly sound beneficial to you as an individual and the community at large, there are certain benefits that homeowners and business owners benefit in a direct manner.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why installing solar panels can be really beneficial to homes and businesses.

Benefits of installing Solar Panels for your home

  • Helps increase the value of your home:
    A home with photovoltaic solar panels already installed is an incredibly appealing feature that can potentially boost your property value by up to $20,000. Not only does this allow the residents to enjoy the impacts of lower monthly energy bills, but it also allows them to use those savings elsewhere.
  • Federal and state incentives provide additional savings:
    In order to promote the adoption of solar energy systems in residences, utilities and other organizations offer solar tax breaks and monetary incentives for homeowners. Therefore, homes that have solar panels installed are entitled to rebates on the cost of the actual system, which currently for 2020 is 26%.

Benefits of installing Solar Panels for your business

  • You’re now a green business:
    By showing people that your business relies on solar energy instead of dirty fossil-fuel electricity, you are showing that your company is environmentally conscious. People tend to respond to that very well so, in effect, going solar gives you a little marketing boost.In addition to lowering your overall operating costs, switching to solar energy can certainly provide a positive public relations tool that can attract new potential customers and increase sales.
  • Helps mitigate the risk of changing utility rates:
    Starting a business in this competitive business environment takes a lot of preparation, determination, and money just to keep the lights on. These days, cost reductions are the main priority for business owners, let alone chasing profits.However, life is full of unexpected events that can potentially have a damaging impact on your bottom line. When your business makes the switch to solar energy, you are no longer vulnerable to the sudden price increases in electricity rates that traditional electric power companies are known for.

If you would like further information and receive a FREE solar savings estimate for your home or office, contact Solar Solutions.

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Why You Should Take Advantage Of The 2021 FTC

Good News! If you missed out on the FTC for 2020 that credited you back 26% of the cost of your solar panel system, you could still take advantage of the solar panel federal credit, which has been extended for the year 2021! So, if you’re planning to install solar panels for your home or business, and you’re not sure whether it’s worth it. Hopefully, this will give you the added incentive to do so within the next few months!

You will get a discount of 26 percent of the total value of the solar panel. The tax credit for 2021, although extended, is scheduled to again decrease in 2022, so you might want to take advantage of this before it goes even lower.


26 Federal Tax Credit Solar Panels In El Paso

How does the solar panel federal tax credit work?

Let’s do the math. Let’s say you plan to purchase an average-sized solar panel system, with a cost of $18,000. With the tax break, the cost will be reduced by a whole $4,680, thus reducing the price to $13,320, which is a tremendous saving!

It is essential to take advantage of the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit before the deadline passes. It is an excellent way to save a significant amount of money. The price of the solar panels varies greatly depending on the size of the system and the company you’re dealing with. However, at Solar Solutions, we make sure to give you the best quality, service and price. As well as ensure that you know exactly what your total cost will be before we even begin the installation.

Why you should use solar energy

There are several reasons why solar energy is a better option than other types of energy sources. First of all, you will spend less energy on your utility, thus saving you money. The savings can then be applied to other uses. Another reason is that solar energy is better for environmental conservation.

If more people adopt using solar energy, there will be a reduced demand for fossil fuels. Various studies have shown that homes that use solar energy save up to $1000 on expenses, which applies even in less sunny regions such as Connecticut and Massachusetts.

You can get the Federal Tax Credit by subtracting the credit amount from the total tax imposed by the IRS. The amount of Federal Tax breaks does not have a limit on the type of solar you buy. In case you are unable to use your entire credit tax break this year, you may be able to carry it forward into later years.

Which types of solar qualify for the tax credit?

There are several reasons why solar energy is a better option than other types of energy sources. First of all, you will consume less energy from your utility company, thus saving you money! The savings can then be applied to other uses. Another reason is that solar energy is better for the environment.

If more people adopt using solar energy, there will be a reduced demand for fossil fuels. Various studies have shown, that homes using solar energy, save up to $1000 on utility expenses! This applies even in less sunny regions, such as Connecticut and Massachusetts, and countries such as Germany.

You can get the Federal Tax Credit by subtracting the credit amount from the total tax liability imposed by the IRS. The amount of Federal Tax breaks does not have a limit on the type of solar you buy. In case you are unable to use your entire credit tax break this year, you may be able to carry it forward into later years.

Get Your Estimate Today

Getting a quote for your solar panel system and the federal tax credit is easy for both homeowners and businesses. Please fill out our contact form or give us a call and let us give you a free, no-obligation solar savings estimate for your home or business!

Where Is Solar Being Used

Which Countries Are Utilizing Solar

Solar power is increasing worldwide and also becoming a progressively integral part of the energy mix in several countries. We sought advice from numerous reports to determine which countries are making use of solar power, as well as which parts of the world, have the highest possible solar production capabilities.

Which countries have the most mounted solar PV?

Solar energy is used all over the world, but presently, China, Japan, as well as the USA lead the world in regards to total solar capability installs. Here are the leading ten countries rated in regards to overall solar setups in megawatts (MW).


In contracts to years before, the USA is one rank greater, moving ahead of Germany. Additionally, India went ahead of Italy, and France surpassed Australia. Which nations have expanded the most in the past decade for solar PV capability? Surprisingly, one decade prior in 2008, China only had 253 MW of solar PV set up, implying that the total ability of mounted solar in the country has grown almost 70,000 times over. Over the same amount of time, global solar PV capability grew from 14,725 MW to 480,357 MW.

Worldwide solar power capacity

Solar panels can create electrical power just about anywhere on Earth, yet some locations get even more sunlight than others, and as such, have a higher solar energy capacity. The following map, prepared by Solargis, shows areas with the highest PV production possibility. It is based on the insolation at different parts of the earth’s surface, which is an action of how much solar radiation hits a location.

World Solar PV Potential

Many factors affect the PV potential/insolation of a geographic area, consisting of sun angle, length of day, as well as surface area representation. Checking out the map above, it’s not a surprise that numerous areas near the equator have reasonably more significant PV possible given the quantity of sunshine they receive throughout the year, the high angle of the sun, as well as the absence of snow and ice to reflect solar radiation to space.

Of course, these factors alone cannot anticipate the solar manufacturing possibility of a specific setup. Elements like the tilt of your solar panels, air quality, air temperature, weather variations, and a lot more will all influence the hourly, daily, monthly, as well as yearly energy production of solar photovoltaic systems.

Evaluate your solar possibilities today

If you’re wondering about the solar production capacity of your specific home, you can discover free by contacting us for a completely free solar panel estimate. We will help you assess every one of your equipment choices and funding offers. When working with us, you can feel great that you’re making a smart financial investment in your house.

Why You Should Take Advantage of the 30% Tax Credit Before 2020 Comes Around

This article is intended to give you information you should be aware of in regards to the solar tax incentive and its decline over the next 3 years. In order to take advantage of the 30% Federal tax credit, you will have to install your solar panels by the end of 2019. At the beginning of 2020, the tax credit will decrease by 4% down to 26%, which could mean a substantial amount of savings, dependent on the size of your system.

Any professional solar panel company should know everything having to do with the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), and the benefits that come with it for you as the consumer. The enactment of the ITC was the intended to allow those with solar energy projects to take advantage of a 30% tax credit on a cost basis of their qualified energy property in the year it was first put into service.

Back in 2015, when the ITC’s original 30% was about to expire, Congress approved the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2015. This extended the 30% ITC for all residential and commercial projects up until the end of December 2019. Beginning 2020, it would go down to 26%, then drop to 22% at the beginning of 2021. The start of 2022 meant that the remaining 10% tax credit would remain intact only for commercial projects. The extension of the ITC tax credit also stated that the requirement for the qualification of a solar panel project only needed to commence instead of it being in-service. The IRS states that in order for a project to fall under the “commence construction” phase, it must fall in to the following two steps:

  1. PHYSICAL WORK TEST: SECTION 4.02-.04: “The Physical Work Test requires that a taxpayer begin physical work of a significant nature.  This test focuses on the nature of the work performed, not the amount or the cost.” This work performed can include the installation of racks or other various structures to attach PV panels, collectors, or solar cells to the site (4.02.2.A).  This does not include any preliminary activities such as planning or designing an array design, obtaining permits or licenses, securing financing, the clearing of a site, or conducting geophysical/environmental/engineering surveys of the site (4.03). It is important to note that physical work also does not include the effort involved in producing “the components of the energy property that are either in existing inventory or are normally held in inventory by a vendor.”
    1. Continuous Construction Test (Section 6): “Involves continuing physical work of a significant nature. Whether a taxpayer maintains a continuous program of construction to satisfy the Continuity Requirement will be determined by the relevant facts and circumstances.”
  2. FIVE PERCENT SAFE HARBOR: SECTION 5. 01-.02: “Construction of energy property will be considered as having begun if: (1) a taxpayer pays or incurs 5% percent or more of the total cost of the energy property, and (2) the taxpayer makes continuous efforts to advance towards completion of the energy property” (5.01).  Meaning that the estimated total of all costs of the energy venture in question are taken into account when trying to evaluate whether or not the Five Percent Safe Harbor standard has been established.  This total does not include the price of the land intended to house the energy property.
    1. Continuous Efforts Test (Section 6): “Whether a taxpayer makes continuous efforts to advance towards completion of an energy property to satisfy the Continuity Requirement includes, but is not limited to: (a) paying additional amounts included in the total cost of the energy property; (b) entering into binding written contracts for the manufacture, construction, or production of components of property or for future work to construct the energy property; (c) obtaining necessary permits; and (d) performing physical work of a significant nature.”

A couple of questions have been asked in regards to satisfying these two requirements:

  1. “Is it necessary for me to complete both these two steps before January 1, 2020 in order to satisfy the requirements necessary to receive the 2019 tax credit?”
    1. Looking at section 3.02 of the IRS Notice 2018-59, it states that while you must implement both these steps for your solar project to qualify, the construction will be considered started on the date the taxpayer first establishes the first of the two steps listed above. Here is an example:
      1. “For example, if a taxpayer performs physical work of a significant nature on [the] energy property in 2018, and then pays five percent or more of the total cost of the energy property in 2019, construction will be deemed to begin in 2018 under the Physical Work Test, not in 2019 under the Five Percent Safe Harbor” (Section 3.02).
    2. “Is it true that I have 4 years to complete my energy project and still apply for the ITC credit level of the year in which I first “Commenced Construction”?”
      1. There is an article by McDermott that technically says the answer to this question is yes, however, this notice clarifies that after a commercial project has been approved for the ITC (aka the taxpayers have been able to purchase equipment equal to 5% of anticipated project costs and passed the Physical Work Test) in 2019 it will permit projects placed in service up until January 1st, 2023 to qualify for the ITC at the current 30% rate from 2019.  Although it is important to note that construction and significant payments of the energy property must continue throughout this 4 year time period to remain in good graces for the Continuity Safe Harbor.
      2. “If a taxpayer places an energy property in service by the end of a calendar year that is no more than four calendar years after the calendar year during which construction of the energy property began (“the Continuity Safe Harbor Deadline”), the energy property will be considered to satisfy the Continuity Safe Harbor.  For example, if construction begins on an energy property on January 15, 2018, and the energy property is placed in service by December 31, 2022, the energy property will be considered to satisfy the Continuity Safe Harbor (Section 6.05).”

Therefore, based on all the information from the IRS Report 2018-59 to claim the 30% ITC this year all you have to do is:

  1. Make a 5% payment on the total cost of the solar panel system along with a written contract that guarantees the continuous development of the solar panel system, or begin physical work of a significant nature in regards to the installation process (ie. “racking or other structures to affix PV panels, collectors, or solar cells to a site”) before January 1st, 2020.

Our advice is to claim your tax credit now and don’t wait until next year or you risk part of the 30% tax credit.

Note: This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

How Solar PV and Energy Storage Play a Role in Farming

The process of convering solar energy into electricity is called solar photovaltaic (PV). This is not a new technology, however, many home owners, including farmers, are not taking advantage of this process to help reduce their electricity bill.

Because of increased cell efficiency and lower raw material costs and manufacturing, the costs of PV has reduced past the 80% mark in the last decade..

Farmers can take advantage of a new 40% grant through TAMS and a 100% accelerated capital allowances in year of purchase to help reduce their electricity costs, thus making Solar PV the smartest investment they’ll ever make.

Other grants are readily available through the BEC program that is run by the SEAI. The importance of farmers to generate their own electricity is because of planned Government increases in carbon taxes that will become innevitable.

A Solar PV investment on a farm is a wise one due to 100% write off against tax in the year that it is purchased and they can also reclaim the VAT part of the cost.

Full Clarity

Because Solar PV systems are monitored, farmers will be have full transparency of the energy they generate yearly, daily and hourly.

They can also tell how much electricity they are purchasing from the grid which allows them a clear understanding of their energy usage, which is very beneficial.

If you’re a farm owner and would like more information on how having a Solar PV system on your property, contact us and we’d be happy to set up a FREE solar savings consultation with you.

Should You Buy Solar Panels For Your Home

Is 2019 the year you should consider purchasing solar panels for your home? Many Americans are asking themselves the same question considering that the 30% federal tax credit will almost be good as gone by the end of 2019. There are several factors you should consider, amongst them are where you currently reside, the amount of space your roof has, how much of your roof is shaded, how much power do you actually use and last, how much are you paying for your electricity.

When it comes to installing solar panels, there are 5 basic things you should be informed about in order to make the most logical decision:

  1. Do you have a roof that is suitable for solar panels to be installed?
  2. What is the cost of installing solar panels at your home?
  3. How much will you actually be saving by installing solar panels?
  4. What brand or type of solar panels will the contractor be installing?
  5. Have you researched the solar panel contractors around your area in order to get the best price and quality service?

How Much Space Do I Need On My Roof To Consider Installing Solar Panels

Net metering is your friend as it gives you credits in order for you to use during your night time electricity usage, meaning that solar power can literally power your entire home. Most homes need between 6-8kW of solar power to completely eliminate their electricity invoice. So you better have between 360 and 520 square feet of roof space if you’re going to consider solar panels at your residence. Most solar consumption happens between 10 am and 3 pm, so make sure you have plenty of sunshine during these hours. Here is a quick link to calculate your roof space.

Should My Roof Be Facing South

It is primarily most effective for solar panels to be facing south, however, if your solar panels face south east or south west, they can still produce plenty of electricity. Solar panels facing west produce roughly 15% less electricity than those facing south, however, with the price of solar panels decreasing, it is a viable option. This is a great way of taking advantage of peak rates in the afternoon, which is becoming more common than usual.

What Is The Cost Of Solar Panel Installation

The two main source for data on home solar panel installation costs in America come from SolarReviews partners. The Lawrence Berkeley institute published the cost of 90% of home solar systems that were installed in the USA. The information gathered showed that on average it costs $3.89 per watt for a solar powered system. You can find that information by clicking here.

The other source of solar data is from www.solar-estimate.org. The average cost from them was a bit lower than that of Lawrence Berkeley at $3.08 per watt. This however, was for solar systems that were cash purchased and before the 30% tax credit that was being offered. So if you consider a 6kW system, this comes out to $18,480 before the 30% tax credit and $12,936 after taking advantage of the tax credit.

Can I Find a Solar Cost Estimator To Calculate The Cost Of Installing Solar Panels At My Home

One of the most used calculators to estimate the cost of solar panel installation is found at Solar-Estimate. It gives you the rates that are currently being charged by multiple utility companies in its database and also very accurate solar panel production data for many locations around the USA. It will give you the amount of solar panels you will require and how much you’ll be saving before having to enter any personal information.

Do your due diligence and make sure you present the estimate given at this website in order to compare the information with the contractors estimate. As always, there are many different variables when it comes to installing a solar panel system, and coordinating with your contractor is always best for your location and home.

Why Solar Costs Are Rising

Solar energy’s clean, renewable, and infinite source made it the energy source of the future. By the early part of the 2000s, the solar energy industry had experienced an average annual growth of 68% and contributed 40 gigawatts of power to America’s power grid. The budding industry powered 6.5 American households and provided jobs to almost 374,000 of the population as solar panel installers.

However, things are about to change in the solar power industry as we enter the end of another decade. The tax exemptions awarded to solar power switchers will be gone in a few years, and the Trump administration has approved additional tariffs on solar panels and equipment. Soon, solar power won’t be as cheap as it used to be and if there is a good time to switch to solar power, that time is now.

Disappearing Tax Exemptions

Solar power saw a steady rise in patrons upon the enactment of the Solar Investment Tax Credit in 2006. Anyone who decided to switch to solar power and outright purchased a module for installation would enjoy a 30% credit on their income taxes. The tax exemptions were originally planned for implementation from January 2006 up to December 2007, but numerous laws were passed to extend the tax exemptions up to 2019. As a result of the multi-year extensions on the tax credit, solar equipment and rates continued to depreciate while technological efficiencies and installation rates improved.

However, there is a glaring development that most people overlook.

As legislators extended the SITC to encourage long-term investments in solar power, the tax exemptions will be reduced by 2019. Any solar project that begins at the start of 2020 will step down to a 26% tax credit. By 2021, the tax credits will reduce to 22% for projects that start within the year. Afterwards, commercial establishments will continue to get a permanent 10% tax credit while residential users will not receive tax credits anymore.

This is why most people have been encouraged to switch to solar power before 2019. Installing a solar module after that would mean an additional 30% cost on the equipment as the tax credit would be completely gone by then.

Additional Tariffs on Solar Prices

While some may have prepared for the impact of the tax credit reductions, a recent announcement by the Trump administration further sealed the inevitable inflation of solar power.

In January this year, President Donald Trump announced a 30% tariff on all imported solar panels plus an additional 25% tariff on Chinese-made solar module imports. The aftermath was expected as Reuters reported in June that solar installation projects worth approximately $2.5 billion had been cancelled because of the tariffs.

The tariffs were implemented after a couple of American solar manufacturers lobbied to impose a 50% tariff on solar imports which they claimed were harming their business, especially the cheap imports from China. Suniva, a Georgia-based solar cell manufacturer, filed bankruptcy in April 2017 and attributed its financial decline to the lower prices of foreign-produced solar panels.

In October 2017, the International Trade Commission released its analysis of tariffs on imported solar panels and suggested tariffs as high as 35%. The Trump administration eventually settled with its own number: a 30% tariff. Because of the new tariffs, analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimate an increase of up to 3% for rooftop solar panels; while solar farms which contribute energy to a shared grid might hike prices up to 10%.

Consumer Impact

For those who have already invested in solar power systems, they would have to consider the rate hikes in their bottom-line. This might also result in businesses slowing down or even halting production which can be detrimental for the majority of employees in the industry.

An average homeowner who is looking into using solar energy needs to act fast. NOW is the best time to invest in solar energy before the tariffs permanently take hold and raise the prices.