Whether you’re a business, homeowner, or nonprofit, solar panels are one of the best ways to invest, ranking with more conventional investments like stocks and bonds. The most common reasons why many people go solar include cutting energy costs, increase property value, and safeguard the environment. But in order to justify any major renovation to your property, you have to do your research and see the facts for yourself.
SolarGaines supports you at every step of the installation process. As solar energy is becoming increasingly popular in the US, here’s a list of top facts about its unprecedented boom that will help to put your decision to go solar in context with the real world.
- The US is making progress towards energy independence. America had its biggest year for solar production ever in 2016, reaching 4 gigawatts of potential solar capacity nationwide.
- New installations are steadily increasing for residential property owners. There are now over one million residential installations.
- You can find the solar potential for your property on a map. The least sunny regions of the country can still produce enough solar energy to make the investment viable. For example, parts of Alaska will generate 360 cubic watts a day.
- Solar earns a great return on your investment. The solar capacity and initial cost vary for each individual property, but some investors recoup their investment in under three years.
- Solar adds to real estate value – typical homeowners who go solar can expect their property value to go up around $15K, the rule of thumb being approximately $20 of value for every $1 of savings. And for commercial properties, the sky’s the limit.
- Solar renewable energy credit markets were created in response to environmental responsibility policies. Public utilities must meet mandated clean energy rules called minimum renewable portfolio standards. SRECS are certificates equaling 1Mwh hour of solar electricity. Producers can sell their certificates at auction or privately. The producer receives credits whether they have consumed the power or fed it into the grid.
- Jobs in the solar industry are growing thanks in part to increased demand and programs that offer training and placement. The Solar Jobs Census 2016 found that the workforce has increased 25% from the previous year.
- In fact, the solar industry is responsible for 2% of all new jobs in the US.
- Installation costs have dropped dramatically. In the past decade, the price tag for a new solar installation has dropped 60%.
- Federal credits are a go! The tax program, which was slated to end last year, has been extended. Take 30% of your total installation cost as a credit applied against taxes owed. Note that the benefits are decreasing incrementally after 2019.
The energy market affects the environment, public policy, the local economy and our health in measurable ways. If you consider some of these facts together, you have some illuminating insight into how the decision to go solar now will affect you and your business directly. Saving on electricity monthly will be a turning point for many businesses, particularly small to medium-sized businesses looking for an advantage in the changing economy.
In the ten years since the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) began, costs for new installations have gone down considerably. But bear in mind, incentives are still at the rate set a decade ago. That means now is the most strategic time to go solar!
The biggest takeaway regarding the value of solar is gaining energy independence, which is taking priority for property owners. As solar continues to change the way our world is powered, keep up with the evolution with in-depth information on the SolarGaines blog and join in on the discussion!