Is solar technology changing? Should I wait?

For at least 12 years now, we have seen some variance on these questions, and the answer is almost always “NO.” There are two explanations for this reaction: solar subsidies are expiring, and saving money is easier now than saving money later. First, the stimulus. The federal solar tax credit is set to begin to “phase out” with effect from 1 January 2020. By 1 January 2022, there will no longer be a home solar tax credit. The tax credit currently represents about $6,000 in savings on home solar for the average homeowner. We would have said leaving $6,000 on the table is not a good idea.

Certain benefits may also vanish, depending on your economy. Check the solar opportunities in your state to see what’s available. It’s now time to install solar panels unless you are deliberately waiting for a new incentive program to begin.

First, the “energy value for money.” Solar panels are now saving money. We do know that. And the savings they generate, depending on how (and how much) you pay, are currently estimated to continue for 20-25 years. You now get to take a loan or pay in cash to save money today, but waiting a year or two lowers the value of those future savings by at least the amount of inflation, not including what else you could do with the money now.

Again, with incentives and net metering either disappearing or changing throughout, it pays to evaluate your potential savings with solar now instead of waiting to act when the deal might not be as good as that.

Like all technology, solar technology changes over time. Solar has come a long way over the past decade and is now less expensive and more efficient than ever. With the current financial incentives, now is the best time to go solar.