Home solar is in the midst of an unprecedented boom, and there’s been a concurrent explosion in articles on the internet about how much it costs to go solar. It’s no surprise: solar is a major, long-term investment in your home, and you’d be foolish not to do your homework before taking the plunge.
However, let’s flip the script here and consider the other side of the story – or more specifically, the upside. What are the costs of not going solar? After all, the reason that over 1 million homeowners in America have invested in solar isn’t because they like spending money – it’s about the positives, like saving money, adding value to your home, and strengthening your home and your local community.
Now here’s five things you’re missing out on when you don’t go solar.
- Reduced Exposure to Rising Electricity Rates: The core of solar’s value proposition is that it reduces your dependence on buying all of your electricity from your utility. That’s because, as regulated monopolies, utilities have a natural tendency to slowly but surely raise their prices over time. In fact, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, average residential retail electricity prices have increased every single year since 2002.
While most homes that go solar remain connected to the grid for a portion of their energy, the ability to dramatically reduce your dependence on these high-and-rising utility rates can add up to major savings over the lifetime of an investment. Our financing partner, Mosaic, estimates that their average customer saves over $30,000 over the life of their solar panels. And by our calculations, more than 17,000 Trinity customers in the northeast have collectively saved over $18 million and counting from their solar installations.
Valuable Independence – Homes With Solar Sell for More
- Adding Value to Your Home: The economic benefits of going solar aren’t just about the savings on your utility bill, either. Common sense says that a house with money-saving solar panels should be worth more than a similar house that’s completely dependent on increasingly expensive grid electricity. A recent study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory indicates that solar panels add an average premium of $15,000 to home sale prices – and this premium was found consistently across all regions, housing markets, and home types.
- Reducing Your Income Taxes: Currently, homeowners that go solar are eligible for an income tax credit of up to 30% of the costs of their installation. So, for example, a $25,000 solar installation could save you $7,500 on your taxes! This maximum credit applies only until 2019 however, after which it decreases to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and 10% thereafter. Moreover, like any government policy, you can never guarantee that it won’t be changed in the future.
- Improved Resilience for Your Home: As millions of homes in the eastern U.S. discovered during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, major disruptions caused by extreme weather can knock the power grid out for days or even weeks. While most household solar installations aren’t large enough to meet the entirety of your electricity needs on a typical day, the ability to charge your communications gear and other vital equipment for hours a day can make all the difference during a multi-day blackout. Not all solar systems have the capability of operating when the grid is down, so you should consult with your installer if this is a priority for you.
- Supporting Jobs in Your Community: Finally, joining the solar movement is an opportunity to strengthen your community by supporting local jobs that can’t be exported. According to last year’s Solar Jobs Census, there are over 200,000 people employed in the solar industry nationwide, and it’s one of the fastest-growing sources of new jobs in America. Most of these jobs are with solar installation companies – including Trinity, which employs over 1,000 workers throughout the northeastern U.S.
So, when you consider the savings on your utility bill and income taxes plus the added value to your home, missing out on going solar can mean missing out on tens of thousands of dollars – enough to help pay for college tuition, a home renovation, or a new car – not to mention the value of having power in an emergency and supporting your local community. Trinity’s experienced installers can help you figure out just what you’re missing out on today – click here to learn more.