When is the Right Time to go Solar?

sundial, solar time, when to go solar
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

The right time to go solar might not surprise you.  There isn’t a specific day like, Tuesdays when you should buy airplane tickets, or Super Bowl Sunday to buy a car.  Solar construction can happen year round, so if you’re looking for the best month… it was in March #Sorry.  March gives you the best year one production because it’s right before the summer, and the panels are fresh and clean.    But you should know (and probably already do…)… the best time to go solar is NOW!

Equipment costs have steadily decreased for decades, but we are at the bottom and have been there for most of 2014, as can be seen in the graph below.  Asian manufacturing brought prices to an all-time low because of their scale, and fierce determination to own the solar market… Some have said that there may have been some shady trade practices #Dumping as well.   The US Commerce Department has made steps to end this trade war and is planning to levy varying tariffs on some foreign made solar products.  When the levies are imposed, solar module prices (not system prices) are expected to rise 18-35%, and we’ll see this take effect during the next 6 months.  Even with more expensive solar panels on the horizon, you’ll still want to go with an experienced company #40Years because there’s going to be a lot of misinformation, possibly counterfeit brands or non-CEC certified products on the market soon, as the IOUs (SCE, PG&E, SDG&E) rebates have ended across the state.  These rebates required the verification of modules being installed. The Solar Program Administrators and the PUC do not want to be forever in the business of policing the solar industry.

Solar’s unprecedented growth has been due to lower prices and to new financing options like long term low interest personal loans, other third-party financing such as hero program, leases, property tax loans and power purchase agreements. I have good news and bad news though.  Our economy is improving which usually means that loan and lease interest rates are going to come back up which will affect your  payback and return on investment.

solar cost, rising, chinese tariffs
This graph shows the average price of solar systems. The yellow line represents residential and the blue line represents commercial systems. Prices have plateaued and are going up.

California installed more rooftop solar last year than they have in the last 30 years!  The industry has grown rapidly and will continue to grow, but the most cost effective time to go solar, is NOW.  Solar boomed in 2013 because of good incentives, lower costs, and improved financing.  Incentives are meant to help industries get started and test business plans with less risk, like Mosaic, but they don’t last forever.  Almost all of the local utility rebates have been claimed and the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit will be reduced at the end of 2015.

If you’re still not convinced to go solar, your future bills should convince you. Electricity rates go up 5-8% per year.  LADWP customers will see their rates increasing 11%. The sooner you go solar, the more you’ll start saving and sooner.  The average Californian that goes solar will save over $50,000 over the life of the system.  What could you do with that extra pocket change?

Give us a call because NOW is the right time to go solar (888) 595-9570