The Cost of Going Solar Is Falling: Are You Ready for Solar Panels Yet?

The Cost of Going Solar Has Been Falling

The Cost of Going Solar Is Falling lowered cost of home solar panels

The costs associated with purchasing and having a solar power system installed on your home used to be the key factor keeping homeowners and some small business owners out of the solar game. But with the costs of the equipment and installation falling rapidly over the last few years, many who were reluctant to jump on the renewable, sustainable energy bandwagon are converting in droves.

What is causing the reduction in the costs associated with going solar? What are the other stumbling blocks keeping folks from getting into the game? Are prices at an all-time low now, or should homeowners wait for the price to drop even further?

These are all good questions and representative of what many who haven’t taken the solar plunge are currently wondering. The following article will provide some answers to these and other questions about the cost of going solar.

Technological Advances

You probably won’t be too surprised to hear that it’s not the 1980s anymore. Your smart phone has more computing power than an entire lab of desktops had in the 1980s. The rapid technological advances witnessed over the last few decades represent the fastest advance in available technology since the second wave of the industrial revolution.

These advances have had an impact on the solar power industry, as well. Contemporary solar power systems are lighter (easier to install), more efficient (generate more power), and less expensive than ever before thanks to advances in manufacturing and technology in general.

Growth of the Solar Industry

Another driver of solar adoption and the falling costs associated with adoption is the growth of the industry itself. As the conversion to solar power has risen over the last few decades, so has demand for skilled workers and room for more and more manufacturers and solar power installers in the marketplace. It doesn’t take a Harvard economist to see the correlation between greater supply of materials and labor, and subsequently lower costs.

The Government and Utility Pieces of the Solar Puzzle

Along with growth in the industry itself, the various federal, state, and local government agencies responsible for energy regulation, taxation, and housing policy have been getting further and further into incentivizing the adoption of solar power and other forms of renewable energy.

Tax rebates; discounted materials programs; solar programs for lower income individuals, families, and communities; and net-metering programs have all contributed to the ongoing dropping in costs associated with home and small business solar power buy-in.

Net Metering and Tax Incentives and Storage Options…Oh My!

Unfortunately, at least one state government (Nevada) has backed away from its past commitment to renewable energy by allowing the state utility to cancel its net metering program. But steady federal tax incentives and ongoing advances driving down the cost of energy storage at home and work are still making the present the most attractive time in history to get into solar power.

[Photo via: Flickr]