Are Solar Panels Worth it in 2022?
Recently, numerous factors – including inflation and supply chain challenges – have driven up the price of solar panels for homeowners. Despite this, many people are still asking if 2022 is a good year to consider investing in solar energy? Indeed, there are clear benefits one could reap this year when it comes to lower cost and increased incentives. As people looking to invest in solar energy have to weigh several factors and make a decision wisely.
The Benefits of Solar in 2022
Often, when making a major purchase, buyers need to know the potential benefits they can achieve. Solar energy investments provide a wide range of benefits, and understanding what they are can help potential buyers in 2022 make an informed decision.
In the first few months of this year, solar panel prices have dropped by approximately 10-15%, due in large part to recent improvements in technology. When combined with other incentive programs, this decrease in costs can present an opportunity for homeowners to significantly reduce their energy bills with a one-time expenditure. For example, Tesla’s Powerwall – a long-lasting battery designed to store solar energy – is currently being sold at a discounted rate of $12,500. Considering that average electricity bills tend to be around $125 per month, this one-time investment could save homeowners hundreds of dollars a year.
Increased Residential Incentives
Incentives aimed at residential solar installation have also increased in recent months. Solar tax credits – which allow homeowners to recoup up to 30% of the cost of their purchase in the form of a federal tax credit – are still available to those who install solar in 2022. It is also important to note that some states offer additional incentives for homeowners who invest in solar energy. California, for instance, provides a net-metering discount for residents who generate their own energy, which can drastically reduce the cost of installing a solar array.
Growing Safety Standards
When it comes to technology, safety should always be prioritized. Household investments are no different, particularly when it comes to solar panels. Solar manufacturers have made significant strides in regard to safety over the past few years. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) recently released a checklist outlining the necessary qualifications – including UL and IEC certifications – for any solar development project. The checklist also includes performance ratings (how much power the solar cells can produce) and warranties on the product. Understanding these safety standards can help potential buyers make an informed decision in 2022.
Analyzing the Cost Saved from Solar in 2022
Before investing in solar energy, potential buyers must decide whether the investment will actually be cost-effective in the long-term. Most solar companies can provide accurate estimates regarding specific energy savings, and these numbers can help buyers decide whether or not to move forward with their purchase.
The Potential for Long-Term Savings
Solar energy is generally considered to be a long-term investment, and this is true for both homeowners and businesses. Investing in solar panels and battery systems provides a high return on investment in the long run, with most industry experts estimating that consumers who install solar can save thousands of dollars each year in energy costs. That being said, it’s important for buyers to understand that the long-term savings of solar energy can take several years to realize.
Potential Tax Breaks and Credits
When considering the cost of installing solar energy, potential buyers should also firmiliarise themselves with the potential tax savings that come with the purchase of a system in 2022. For instance, the federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows homeowners to recoup up to 30% of their solar installation cost when they file their taxes. Additionally, some states – such as California – offer additional tax credits for solar installations. It’s essential to research whether any such tax credits exist in the area in which one is installing the solar system.
Determining Potential Return on Investment
One of the best ways to determine the financial benefit of investing in solar energy is to use a simple return on investment (ROI) calculator. This calculator can help potential buyers answer the question: “Is solar worth it?” For instance, the calculator can be used to account the construction costs, energy savings, and available tax credits when determining the potential savings of a solar investment.
Considerations for Investing in the Solar Market in 2022
In addition to analyzing the financial potential of solar energy, potential buyers should also consider several other factors when making their final decision.
Researching Solar Installers
When it comes to solar installation, not all contractors are equal. Potential buyers should take the time to research solar installers and their past projects. Online review websites can be a great resource for this. One should also look for installer certifications, such as NABCEP or LPEA, to ensure that the contractor has the knowledge and expertise necessary to install a quality system.
Understanding Financing Options
For those who do not have the funds to make a large upfront purchase, there are several financing options available for solar installations. Solar leases and Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) are two of the most popular options. Both of these allow homeowners to install a solar system without making a hefty upfront payment. With these payment plans, the homeowner pays a flat rate each month and the solar company is responsible for the system maintenance.
Checking for Local Solar Installer Regulations
Before investing in a solar system, potential buyers should be aware of any local regulations regarding solar installation. Solar Energy is a rapidly changing industry, and many states have implemented a variety of regulations in recent years. Potential buyers should research any applicable zoning restrictions, environmental regulations, and third-party incentives as they research their installation options.
The conversations around solar installation in 2022 are certainly more complex – and more nuanced – than they have been in previous years. For potential buyers, this means that taking the time to understand the numerous incentives, analyzing the expected return on investment, and researching local regulations is essential. But ultimately, 2022 is set to be one of the best years for those looking to invest in solar energy. With reduced costs, increased residential incentives, and an improved safety standard, homeowners can save a significant amount of money with a small upfront investment.
In summary, for those willing to do the necessary research and analysis, purchasing a solar system in 2022 could be a highly profitable decision. With this in mind, the answer to the question “Is 2022 a good year to buy solar panels?” is a resounding yes.