Ask Cool Cat: Is Now the Best Time to Go Solar?

Hellooooo Grand Strand! Cool Cat here with another hot-off-the-presses edition of “Ask Cool Cat”. This illuminating question comes from Allison in Myrtle Beach.

Hey Cool Cat!
Solar has been out for a while and I’ve been wanting to make the transition. Is now the best time to go solar?

Allison in Myrtle Beach

Holy twisted whiskers, Allison! I get your question from my peeps all the time! The cost of solar keeps dropping, right? That’s coooool. But it raises the question of when to jump in and go solar? Jump now or wait for the prices to drop a little more? Here are some things to consider:

The cost of a residential solar system has dropped about 70% since 2010. At the same time, electricity prices have risen around 9% in most markets over the last 10 years and depending on where you live, prices could go up another 2-3% just this year.

The federal tax credit incentive is going away soon. As with any new technology, there are often rebates and credits to help people afford the new technology for the first several years. Well, solar technology has been out for a while now. The current federal renewable energy tax credit of 30% is scheduled to be phased out after 2019. This means that 2019 could be your last chance to snag this crazy awesome tax credit for investing in solar technology. Now, there could be some local and state incentives that will stick around but the big federal one is scheduled to end.

Many states and utility companies participate in a Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) program. An SREC program is intended to pay YOU for any excess electricity your system creates that flows back into the energy grid. So, basically, you get paid for extra electricity you create and don’t use. In some areas, this program is being phased out as well.

So, Allison, given the rising cost of electricity and these hot incentives about to end, this Cool Cat would say NOW is the time to invest in a solar system for your home.