Is Now The Best Time To Go Solar?

Cartoon illustrating happy owner with solar power and his sad neighbor who does not have solar and pays the utility hefty rates

The solar power landscape is changing fast, with new regulations coming out seemingly every day. Some of the financial incentives once provided to solar energy users have expired and are not coming back. Others, such as the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, are due to expire in the coming years.

The bottom line is, there’s no better time than right now to go solar and take advantage of the maximum financial benefits allowed.

Net Metering Changes

Illustration of roadway depicting net metering changes up ahead

Net Metering is the billing arrangement where solar power users earn utility credits for power their solar systems generate. The rules for net metering are changing across the state.

In San Diego Gas & Electric territory, net metering changed in June 2016, but going solar remains substantially more attractive than remaining with the utility.

In Southern California Edison territory, net metering changes are expected in or before July 2017. The rules are more attractive now than they will be then.

In 2019, the California Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to re-evaluate net metering and will likely change the rules again for all California ratepayers. Those who go solar now or before that review period will be grandfathered in for 20 years into the existing structure. It is in your best interest to take advantage of the current rates and structures.

Technology and Costs Have Never Been Better

Some property owners are hesitant to go solar now, thinking that solar power technology is going to improve. While some innovation and performance improvements are possible, large advancements in solar power technology that would significantly affect solar power’s value are not likely.

The first solar panels developed in the 1950s had an efficiently of just 6%. In the more than 60 years since then, the solar panels of today are 22% efficient. Keeping in mind that the maximum efficiency of a silicon based cell is 25%, there is not much room for improvement. That’s why waiting much longer for solar power technology to improve before making the switch is not a good idea.

When it comes to going solar, there’s no good reason to wait. Our systems typically pay for themselves after 4 or 5 years.

The question is not should you go solar, but rather why haven’t you gone solar already?