Santa has brought a belated solar gift to those interested in going solar now. The beginning of 2019 is seeing the lowest installed solar prices ever, and at Sunergy Systems our prices are 10% lower than at the same time last year. We see three main contributors for the price reductions.
Innovation and Lower Prices – During the last quarter of 2018 and stabilizing in Q1 of this year the solar industry saw a significant drop in solar panel and inverter prices, especially with Made-in-USA offerings such as Silfab Solar establishing manufacturing in Bellingham, WA. New technologies have also played a role such as SunPower recently unveiling the world’s first residential A-series solar panel exceeding 400W (400W and 415W). For more information about SunPower click here. PERC technology boosts efficiency through the addition of a layer to the back of a solar cell along with performing better than standard panels in low-light conditions. The newest innovation are half-cut solar cells, which offer improved efficiency and performance. Because they are smaller in size, they are more durable and more resistant to cracking. Another benefit of these innovations is their improved performances generating additional energy for more electricity savings. When you combine lower costs with higher performance, those going solar now see a win-win for quicker solar payback periods.
Lower Permit Fees – During the last two years the State’s solar industry lobby “Solar Installers of Washington” made concerted efforts to expediate solar permitting throughout the State. This has resulted in lower permitting fees and associated costs such as the review process, engineering, and unnecessary requirements. Furthermore, this effort resulted in the required setbacks from the roof edges to be reduced meaning more straightforward layouts and larger systems and the larger the system the less dollars per installed watt it costs.
Lower Installer Prices – As the State’s solar industry has matured, with it, solar installation company prices have dropped due to being more efficient, economy of scale such as a three installation crew company needing to make less money per install versus a one crew company, and this time of the year prices are always at their lowest as most homeowners wait until mid-spring to investigate solar.
At Sunergy Systems our prices are the lowest they’ve ever been with pricing right now being 10% less than they were at the same time last year. In 2018 a typical sized SunPower system of 6kW was $23,050 and is now going for $20,925, for a cost savings of $2,125.
In the midst of these technological breakthroughs and price reductions, 2019 is the last year to take advantage of the 30% Federal Tax Credit, in 2020 it reduces to 24%.
One of the challenges of funding a solar energy project is not being able to realize the financial benefit of the 30% tax credit until the following year. Fortunately, Generations Credit Union has developed a great offering to remedy this with their Summer Solar Loan which is specially designed so customers “don’t pay until next summer.” The first payment is due June 15th of the year AFTER the installation and is equal to 15% of the loan amount. That is plenty of time for most borrowers to file their taxes and take advantage of the 30% federal solar tax credit. For more details click here.
With this type of loan for most homeowners, if you use the entire amount of the 30% tax credit towards the loan, your annual utility savings will exceed your loan payments!
Is this technically free energy?!?! You be the judge, zero payments until June 2020 and then for most months afterwards your utility savings exceed or equal to your loan payments. With electric rates continuing to escalate and climate change reaching a tipping point, now is the time to lock in your utility rates and gain control of the nation’s energy policy. 2019 is the last year of the tax credit being at 30%, so contact us now to take advantage of seasonal low prices and put your tax dollars back into your wallet and towards clean energy.