It’s a beautiful combination — better technology, wider availability, greater popularity, tax credits. All working together, it’s making solar more affordable than ever. In fact, the total cost of installing a residential solar system has fallen by nearly 80% in the past 20 years.
Today, people everywhere are realizing that going solar is the best financial decision they can make for their energy consumption.
See how solar prices have dropped since 1998
This timeline is a bird’s eye view at how prices have dropped, and what’s made it happen. For our example, we’re using an average residential home in the U.S. that needs a 6,000-watt solar setup installed on their house — and we’ll see how much it would cost to get it.
2005 — With a new federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) enacted by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, suddenly consumers can enjoy the combination of lowering prices with added savings by deducting 30% of the installation costs on federal tax returns.
2006 — The combination of a recession and a silicon shortage force prices to stabilize for a few years.
2008 — An extension to the ITC prompts another round of interest in solar, and increased demand begins leading pricing decline.
2010 — Increased demand, leaps in technology, and tax incentives keep driving prices down.
2015 — Congress approves another extension to the ITC, so the 30% tax credit can be used through 2019.
What about the new solar tariffs?
You may have seen the recent news about solar tariffs that are impacting the cost of imported solar panels. Industry experts estimate that these changes may increase the system cost for homeowners by $500 to $1,000, depending on where you live. (The increase is about $350 to $700 if you take the 30% federal tax credit.) However, even with these temporary increases, the cost of solar has still fallen nearly 80% in the past 20 years.
Now’s the time.
With the 30% tax credit scheduled to expire in 2019, you can’t count on an extension again to keep prices near rock-bottom. Make the move today to get solar and start enjoying the rewards of clean energy and the lowest prices ever.