The President and Solar have been in the news a lot recently, so you maybe wondering what exactly is going on. Is this the beginning of the end of solar? Is it too late for homeowners looking into solar? Are we all doomed??? Ok, ok… Take a deep breath, we’re all going to be ok. The good news is it’s not the end! Will solar be affected? Yes. Did you miss the boat? No! We know it can be a little confusing but Rooftop Solar is here to help answer some of those questions.
So…What just happened?
In simple terms, there were a couple of US companies who felt like due to “unfair trade practices” the US manufacturers were at a disadvantage. So they filed a petition for a tariff under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974. Initially, they asked for a very aggressive tariff that would have affected the cost of solar tremendously. After review, the U.S. International Trade Commission recommended a tariff of 30% to President Trump, that would decline by 5 percentage point per year over four years and would allow for 1 gigawatt of tariff-free cell imports. President Trump took the advisement of the International Trade Commission and applied the new tariff at 30%, but increased the cells exempted from the tariff to 2.5 gigawatts. For reference, the average American household uses about 11,000 kWh annually.
Below is an example of the decline in percentage points annually for the next four years:
How this will affect Rooftop Solar: At Rooftop Solar, we have been preparing for the Section 201 tariff for some time now. Over the years, Rooftop Solar has faced many different challenges in the industry. Each time we analyze, we adjust and we work hard to find a solution to continue to make solar affordable and accessible for our customers. We will continue to work for and strive for more customer friendly and affordable options. We’ve got an incredible team and a vision for a better community.
How this will affect you, our customers: We have already started to see the impact of tariff on panel pricing throughout the industry. The good news is, Rooftop Solar has partnered with a national solar co-op called Amicus. We are an owning partner with about 50 other solar companies throughout the US. which gives Rooftop the buying power of a (very) large company. Also, in preparation for the tariff change, Rooftop Solar (and Amicus) worked hard to secure tariff-free panels. These panels are limited in supply, but will ensure our customers have a much more cost effective option for going solar. Since we have the buying power of a (very) large business, we are able to purchase solar panels that are affordable for our customers.
There is still a Federal Tax credit of 30% and for most customers, solar is still a great financial AND environmental option. Solar will continue to shine!
For more information, here’s a pretty good article from our friends at Greentech Media: