As the solar power market evolves, this could be a great time to get started

While we have a couple more years to use the solar tax credit, there are a few times this year where it really looks like there will be a spike in residential solar sales….

As the solar power market evolves, this could be a great time to get started

While we have a couple more years to use the solar tax credit, there are a few times this year where it really looks like there will be a spike in residential solar sales. One reason is we have changed the deadline to April 20, instead of January 1, 2019.

According to my colleague, Ariana Zavaras, many communities in our area have seen a substantial increase in sales of solar installations over the past few months, in part due to the change to a December to April deadline. If you live in one of these communities and you are considering installing solar or you are thinking about buying a solar system to save money on your monthly electric bill, please take the time to visit our solar calculator here, which is not a customer relationship record, but rather a forecast for price reductions.

So far this year, all of our solar data centers in Q1, Q2, and Q3 are posting all-time highs in sales. While it’s an early indication that the solar tax credit is truly reaching its peak, that doesn’t mean we have finished the year with record installations. However, based on the current data, it’s clear that we’re on track to do even better next year.

While the solar tax credit will sunset after 2020, there are two ways to cash in on the tax credit while there is still time. You could invest in an RPS portion of your system. You would pay cash at the end of the year and buy a tax credit based on the account that you put the money into. Or, you could work with a solar systems contractor that will provide it for you up front and also split the tax credit 50/50. You are the one who ends up paying for the cash-out (we do not charge on a commission basis), but this does happen in every circumstance where a homeowner puts money down for the system but does not qualify for the credit.

Depending on the overall system and the structure of the deal, you may or may not receive the full credit. But, as long as you work through the proper channels with the proper licensing and permits, you should be able to receive the credit.

While the data is still not final, this may be one reason why home sellers and sellers to condo owners might choose to purchase solar systems this year. That is, unless you live in a jurisdiction where there is still a generous tax credit (in Ontario, this is just not possible).

For those of you who are thinking about purchasing a system, there are also several situations where, for the homeowner, the value of the tax credit can be offset by the price of the power you are buying. Because of this, you might want to think about combining all of your system with batteries so that all of your electricity is delivered via batteries, and only your panels are monitored. In addition, you could also include your electricity bill with your loan repayments, but most likely, this will need to be negotiated, and you could end up with more for your power than you have paying for the system on your own.

Ultimately, be patient. As time goes on, the solar power market will evolve even more as competition heats up, and the lower prices for clean, renewable power will become more prevalent. At a time when renewable power supplies have never been cheaper, I would encourage you to get started.

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