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When is the Right Time For Me to Go Solar?

When is the Right Time For Me to Go Solar?

The decision to go solar is an investment many families and businesses consider. Whether you want to live more sustainably or save money on your monthly utility bills, going solar has numerous benefits.

when to go solar

And the solar industry is booming. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the solar industry has seen an annual average growth rate of 48% over the past decade. The cost of solar installation has also decreased by 70%. 

These plummeting costs have motivated many to go solar. For some, however, the upfront costs of owning a solar system can still be daunting. The truth is that with solar’s many financing options, the cost of going solar can end up being less than your electric bill.  

So, when is the right time to go solar? 

When you want to save money on utility bills

saving money on utility bills with solar

Choosing solar becomes cheaper each year. This is due to a number of factors, such as the development of inexpensive, efficient technology and an increase in state and federal incentives to install solar.

At the same time, over the past 10 years, average retail residential electricity rates have increased by 15% nationwide. There are many reasons that energy rates are rising, including the cost of producing electricity, increased energy demand, fluctuating weather conditions, and government regulations.

Going solar can help you transition to energy independence and save money on expensive monthly utility bills. This is especially beneficial for people with fixed incomes, or for small businesses who benefit from the stability that going solar can provide. The average home can save between $10,000 and $30,000 over the course of a system’s lifespan.

What can you do about rising electricity rates?

Net-Metering

Net-metering is a system of “debits and credits” which compensates owners of solar energy systems for the electricity they contribute to the grid. If your solar energy system produces more energy than your household uses, then you receive a “credit” because your excess energy went back to the grid. If you ever need more energy than your solar panels produce, often during colder months, then your energy bill will be “debited and you can use the “credits” you previously earned to cover your energy needs. Your solar system can effectively zero your energy bills — even during the colder months! There is still a small monthly fee, however, to deliver the electricity. The only way to avoid these would be going off the grid.

When You Know How to Access State and Federal Incentives

Did you know that many states offer financial incentives to encourage residents to install solar panels? For example, in New York state, the Solar Energy System Equipment Credit offers residents a tax credit (capped at $5,0000) equal to 25% of the total cost of their solar system equipment.  

Curious about the incentives offered by your specific state? Recognized by the Department of Energy, The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy and Efficiency provides a state-by-state look at financial incentives for solar and other types of technologies. 

Federally, consumers who purchase their own solar systems are eligible for the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit. The ITC plays a crucial role in stimulating growth in the solar industry. This year, the tax credit available for homeowners will amount to 26% of net installation costs, and the tax credit offered to businesses will amount to 26% of gross installation costs. This money, received in the form of a rebate, can help you pay your federal income taxes! 

 Another reason to go solar now, rather than waiting, is that as the popularity of solar grows, financial incentives often decrease. For example, next year’s ITC will decrease by 4%, to 22%. Decreases like these are also occurring on a state level. 

 Transition to solar now, and take advantage of these state and federal incentives!  

When You Want to Be More Green

going green with solar

Solar energy is a type of renewable energy, meaning that it is in infinite supply. As one of the cleanest forms of energy in existence, solar is a great way to shrink your carbon footprint and limit your greenhouse gas emissions — all while saving money on energy bills! Every kilowatt of solar installed saves 1.5 tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere each year.

Generating electricity from burning and extracting fossil fuels, on the other hand, releases harmful greenhouse gases in large amounts, such as methane and carbon dioxide. These greenhouse gases contribute to global climate change, and the chemicals used in extraction processes pollute and degrade our air, land, and water.

Going solar is an investment in a greener planet. It is an investment in future generations.

When You're Ready to Invest in Your Financial Future

Installing solar has financial benefits that extend beyond simply saving on your monthly utility bills.

increase the value of your home

Did you know that installing solar panels can actually increase the value of your home? Zillow found that homes with solar energy systems sold for 4.1% more than comparable homes without solar. Based on the median value of a home, this increase could translate to an additional $9,274! Another found that home buyers nationwide were willing to pay $15,000 more for a house with an average-sized solar system. Additionally, a majority of states also provide property tax exemptions for solar energy so that your property taxes won’t increase once you install your solar system — just the overall value of your property!

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates

Another way to make money with your solar panels is through solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs). SRECs are a form of incentive which allow solar system-owners to Homeowners are awarded SRECs based on how much energy their solar panels produce, and one SREC is worth 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWhs).

Many states mandate by law that utilities must source a certain amount of their electricity from renewable sources. Referred to as renewable portfolio standards (RPS), this legislation creates opportunities for homeowners to sell their SRECs to utilities on the SREC market to help them meet their sourcing requirements. In some states, SRECs can be worth over $300!

Go Solar Today

In many ways, you will experience significant returns on your decision to pursue a solar system for your home or business. From saving and making money to limiting your environmental impact, there are so many benefits to going solar.

So don’t wait! Find out your financing options, take advantage of financial incentives, and start building equity in your home or business.

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