Dave and I have been busy the past year.
He’s moved into a new position advising people on how best to start new businesses, while I have finished a book which provides an easy to use process to help people make big life decisions.
However, we’ve still got our eyes on the solar ball, or sun so to speak.
Over the past year, we’ve created new partnerships with great installers nationwide who would love to guide you through the process of creating electricity with your roof instead of solely relying on a nearby power-plant.
While that’s cool, we’re also wrapping up our major data pulls for our 2014 state updates and have noted that many solar tax credits and rebates across the country are starting to evaporate.
There are several plausible reasons for this, but it’s worth noting that if you have been on the solar fence for awhile, you might want to go ahead and seriously consider getting a quote in the next few months. The payoff might not be as sweet in 2014 as it has been the past few years.
We’ll be rolling out those updates in the latter part of December, but here are a few main points:
1) State coffers, backed by mainly by business taxes have been under a lot of pressure since 2009. Therefore, it’s been difficult to have new legislation pass to spur investment in solar. It’s the typical loss aversion effect that takes hold under uncertain conditions.
Imagine someone gives you the opportunity to have $500 or you could flip a coin and if it’s heads you get $1,000, tails and you don’t get anything. Most people in this scenario would take the clean $500, because that’s guaranteed money.
Now, instead let’s say I just gave you $1,000. However you must either give me back $500, or you could take a coin flip and if it’s heads you lose nothing, but if it’s tails you lose everything. What would you do?
If you’re like most of us, in the second condition you’d be a little more likely to take the coinflip risk, even though the expected value of both conditions is the same!
People don’t like the prospects of losing money, neither does your state legislature. Even though there’s a possibility to “invest” in a coinflip to get more investment dollars (in this case it’d be from business and payroll tax from solar installers and servicers), people tend to get more conservative when contemplating new investment possibilities after thinking about how much their budget has recently contracted. Even though the same types of investment activity they are currently shying away from is the same behavior which resulted in larger budgets in the first place!
2) Solar panel prices continue to plummet. This is great news for homeowners and installers in other parts of the globe, however since the U.S. just placed a tariff on Chinese imports (the main source of new panel manufacturing), much of those savings will not be realized domestically. Many nice state incentives are tied into the prices of panels globally, to ensure the incentives are meaningful, yet not creating conditions where some people essentially are able to get free panels on their roofs and others can’t. The net effect is that the entire return on investment for many homeowners considering solar is not as lucrative as it once was just a few years ago, even though panel prices then were nearly three times what they are currently.
To see how things shake out for you, connect with us and we’ll review your location and power bill to provide detailed estimates of how much you could be saving. In many parts of the country you can still save immediately with nothing out of pocket.