When to go Solar: Studying the Industry
Solar costs have been dropping over recent years due to some exciting advancements in solar technology. This means solar homeowners can save more now than they ever have before. This raises the question: should we go solar now, or wait for prices to drop more? Is there new technology that will be coming out soon that will make it worth the wait? To answer these questions, we have to look at recent trends in the solar industry, and then consider the nature of the solar investment.
In the US, monocrystalline modules have brought down costs from $3.50 per peak watt in 2006 to $0.40 per peak watt in 2019. According to top solar market analysts Jenny Chase, “it looks like the learning rate for every doubling of cumulative manufactured crystalline silicon is more like 28% than the previously estimated 26%. CleanTechnica
At the same time, we have seen incentives begin to wane over the last few years. Local utilities have been reducing solar payback, and the federal solar tax credit is set to phase out by 2022. This fact, coupled with an 89% drop in solar photovoltaic module prices since 2010, means customers will be able to take advantage of a sweet spot by choosing to go solar now. The Solar Nerd
Optimal Balance of Costs and Benefits is Now
Utilities across the U.S. have chosen to lower their solar payback in recent years, creating a forecasted decrease in return on the solar investment. In addition to this, the Federal ITC, or solar investment tax credit, has not been renewed and will drop from 22% to 0% in 2022. So what is the key to the timeliness of this investment? The inevitability of your electric bills. Each year, homeowners miss out on the electricity savings from the previous year, because the electric bill does not go away. On top of this, electric prices go up every few years, meaning the missed opportunity for savings gets larger and larger each year.
As new technologies are developed in solar, it can be tempting to wait for even more added efficiency, as with any technology. However, given the opportunity cost of not going solar now, many homeowners will aim to incorporate new solar technologies once they are fully mature. By then, their own systems have saved them thousands of dollars. Additionally, homeowners hoping to sell their home will see more and more added value to their home from the system, and increased home value. This of course requires that homeowners own their system, and does not apply in the case of solar lease.
All of these factors taken together create a sweet spot for solar right now, and every case is unique. Rooftop Solar experts can help you navigate your decision today. Let’s take a look at exactly how much you will save by going solar today vs next year.