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Offer Your Family the Gift of Solar Power

Have you ever searched for the perfect gift? Something meaningful that will have an ongoing impact on the life of your loved one for many years ahead. It’s hard to find a gift with lasting value.   

This holiday season, consider giving the gift of solar. Here’s why.   

  • The value of solar is significant over time – the recipient of the gift avoids electricity expenses (coupled with avoided inflation of electricity rates) over 30+ years.    
  • Solar increases the home value
  • Solar sets an example for future generations – Naturally, children are curious about solar panels when they’re installed and become inclined to learn about clean energy, their energy footprint, and all the ways their generation will grow to help protect the planet  
  • Solar creates goodwill in communities  
  • Solar supports a healthy lifestyle  
  • Solar is available (while other gifts in 2021 may be affected by shipping delays)   
  If you’re looking for a unique, impactful gift for someone special this holiday season, consider giving the gift of solar to a loved one. There is no doubt that it will have a lasting impact.  

Are Solar Prices Going Up or Down? 

by Geoff Greenfield, CEO

Are Solar Prices Going Up or Down? 

As discussions about inflation become commonplace, many people are asking us if the price of going solar will be affected as well.  

If prices ARE going up, this would certainly be a reversal of historic trends. Many that follow the industry have gotten used to a general expectation of falling prices.   

Solar installers around the country have celebrated the significant price drops that accompanied widespread adoption and increased efficiency of the technology. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, “Since 2014, the average cost of solar PV panels has dropped nearly 70%.”

Due to various factors, this trend has reversed, and solar costs are rising for the first time in recent memory.  

 

What is Behind the Inflation in Solar Prices? 

Several factors are driving this new upward cost curve.   

You’re surely aware of the rising commodity prices and surging freight costs across the country. These factors have impacted everything from vehicles to kitchen ovens. Like all markets in the U.S., the solar industry is beginning to see the effects of inflation as we turn the corner into the new year.  

The building blocks of a solar system include copper, aluminum, steel, and electrical components. Copper is needed for solar inverters and electric cabling. Aluminum and steel make up the solar panel racking and panel frames. As the global economy comes back from Covid-19, and economies are “stimulated” with low interest rates, demand is booming while supplies are struggling to keep up.   

The economists predict that these materials will continue to rise in price in 2022 and perhaps beyond. 

The other major ingredient in a solar system is the people needed to do everything from the engineering work to bolting the modules to the rooftops. Just as the wait at your favorite restaurant is longer due to staffing shortages, the solar industry has their help wanted signs up as they seek to hire and train the workforce needed to meet the growing demand for clean energy.   

Wages are rising to attract quality team members and compete with the other booming sectors of the economy. Across the board, positions are harder to fill. 

 

What Does This Mean for People Planning to Go Solar?  

Many solar installers have begun raising their prices, and others are planning to as they sell older inventory and are faced with buying more expensive material.   

Facing a more competitive labor pool, installers are raising prices to keep up with higher payrolls.   

These cost increases have driven up prices. Solar panel prices have jumped 16%, and total prices have risen 12%, according to a press release by Rastad Energy. The forecast is for more of the same throughout 2022.  

 

Could it Get Worse? 

While the modest inflation impacting solar is undoubtedly a change in direction from steadily declining prices, several variables could make this inflation more dramatic.  

 In a significant development in the global marketplace, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is beginning to enforce “Withhold Release Orders” on imported solar modules containing silicon from China’s Shaanxi Provence over concerns about the use of forced labor.   

While many solar modules are made from material from other regions, systems to track and prove this do not yet exist, and industry experts are worried that even “ethical” solar module shipments may be held at the border.   

Another area that could further raise prices is the efforts of several manufacturers to increase tariffs on imported modules – not just from China but from a host of Asian nations.    

Finally, while we have discussed costs, rising demand is the other market signal leading to higher prices. The recently passed infrastructure bill is predicted to further drive up commodity and construction labor prices. The pending “Build Back Better” bill promises to incentivize further solar development, driving up demand in an already hot market. 

 

What Can We Do?  

As prices increase due to all these factors, deciding when or if to go solar is more important than ever.   

We recommend our customers carefully evaluate their circumstances – no two households or businesses are the same.  

One of the important variables is “the cost of waiting”: each month of buying costly dirty utility power is a month that could be filled with the savings of clean energy. We predict that despite the slight rise in costs, the demand for solar will continue to rise, and the limited schedule for established quality solar installers will fill quickly, especially as hiring to meet growing demand is a challenge.  

If you have an older solar quote, it is possible that the current rise in prices is partially or completely offset by the historic reduction in costs that the industry has benefitted from over the past several years.   

Even if your costs are going up, securing your space in the install schedule is likely to pay off as deferred savings are a lost opportunity.  

Our guidance for you: gather updated information, evaluate your own personal situation, and make the right decision for you. 

How To Compare Solar Quotes

Each solar company has its unique solar quote.  

Several critical pieces of information should be consistent when you compare solar quotes.  

We know comparing apples to oranges can be difficult, so we’ve created a checklist of items you need to watch out for when you’re considering which solar company to hire.   

The information we’ve chosen to highlight is based on what we’ve seen in other proposals shown to us by our customers. 

 

1. Solar Module Manufacturer  

It’s essential to know the specifics of what equipment your installer will be supplying you. Although it can be difficult to trace exactly where a panel is made, make sure the manufacturer and model name are identified in your solar quote so you can verify that the panel manufacturer is reputable.   

Keep in mind, the industry standard for a panel warranty is around 25 years. You will need to establish the likelihood that the manufacturer will honor your warranty during that time.  

2. Warranties

Solar Panels 

Solar panels degrade gradually over time with exposure to sunlight, wind, and weather. Panels are typically warranted 25–30 years and have a design lifespan of over 30 years. Energy production is expected to degrade by about one-half of one percent per year. 

Inverters 

Inverters are warranted for 10–15 years and have an expected lifespan of 15–20 years. You may need to replace an inverter once in the system’s lifetime, and we figure that cost into our financial predictions. 

Workmanship 

Any home improvement typically has a “workmanship warranty” covering the quality of the work done. This promise from the contractor that they will install things correctly generally is two years. In the solar installation business, warranties often range from 2-5 Years, sometimes up to 10. 

We rolled out our 20-year workmanship warranty in our twentieth year of business to give our customers peace of mind when they go solar.  

3. Production Factors

Watch out for fluff! Production factors should be based on:

  • Azimuth
  • Tilt
  • Shade
  • Climate Data
  • Inverter efficiencies

Some companies will add in some “fluff” to the numbers to make their quote look better. We have enough confidence to guarantee our customer’s production because we always confirm our solar production estimates with a physical in-person site assessment to take accurate orientation, tilt, and shading measurements!

 

4. Solar Production Guarantee

Your most considerable risk in solar is that the system doesn’t perform as you were told it would.  

We believe that the homeowner should not be liable for that risk.  

As a solar installer, we back our production estimates with a performance guarantee. 

 

5. How are they estimating the increase in energy prices in the future?

Your solar company must know your current energy rate to project your system’s lifetime solar savings potential. If this number is wrong, the accuracy of their estimate of the financial benefit of the system will be off from the beginning.

We have seen some installers grossly overestimate how the cost of energy will rise in the future to make the solar system look like it has a greater return on investment or quicker payback. Make sure the current electricity price and price escalation rate are presented clearly on any solar quote you consider! The rate used dramatically affects the economics and the system value.

 

6.  Bundling energy efficiency upgrades

Watch out for:  

  • Unverified energy audits 
  • Estimated utility savings from efficiency upgrades built into the projected solar system savings 

Energy-efficient homes indeed help a homeowner maximize their solar purchase. We know of a few solar companies that bundle energy efficiency upgrades with their solar installation.

While this is great, watch out for these red flags:

For starters, there is no way to model the actual energy saving these upgrades have, so there is no way to do economic modeling for the estimated cost savings of the upgrades.

Second, some solar installers roll the projected energy savings into the solar system payback analysis. When installers add energy efficiency upgrades to the solar system payback analysis, they mislead customers about the actual capabilities of the system’s performance.

8. Installer Accreditation

Looking at reviews can make a world of difference when evaluating your solar partner. Beyond the Better Business Bureau, Google Reviews, and other review sites, there are a few accreditations that you’ll want to keep in mind. 

  • Does the installer hold an electrical license? Find out here. 
  • NABCEP Certification is the most respected, well-established, and widely recognized certification organization for professionals in renewable energy. A company that employs NABCEP certified individuals shows a commitment to the industry standards and practices. 
  • Dun & Bradstreet – is the solar installation company you’re working with in good financial standing? Remember: your solar installation is a long-term investment. You’ll want to work with a company that demonstrates that they’ll be around for the long haul to assist you if any warranty claims arise or if your system needs maintenance down the line. 

 

Takeaways  

A solar energy system is a big investment and comparing solar quotes is one of the first steps in the journey.  Our biggest takeaway is to choose a solar installer you trust. 

 

 

Solar Case Study Cleveland Heights Ohio

Natalie Lucas went solar in 2019. Funny enough Natalie works remotely for a solar installer herself, StraightUp Solar in Illinois and Missouri.  

Natalie is a true believer in renewable energy and doing the right thing by the plant – which is one reason she chose to go with Third Sun Solar.  

She loves watching trends in her solar production. We enjoyed talking with Natalie a few years after her installation to hear her perspective!   

Learn more about installing solar in Ohio here!   

“Pretty much everything I do tries to reduce my carbon footprint. I have chickens to try to reduce any animal products we do use. I have a compost bin. I have an Electric Car that’s now being powered by renewable energy. I just want to do everything I can to make an impact....”
Natalie Lucas
Solar Homeowner

Solar Company Columbus Ohio

Our solar company has been working in Columbus Ohio for a long time. Many of our employees and customers live and work in Columbus, Ohio. Our capital state is home to Ohio State University and has a diverse economy – from the government to education, insurance, banking, and healthcare. The greater Columbus area is vast and sprawling and, in recent years, has been listed among the fastest-growing cities in the United States.

As we work in Ohio, we are excited to see more Columbus neighbors reach out, interested to begin their solar journey.

Visit our Columbus page to learn about all things solar in your city!

Where we Work in the Columbus Area

We work across the greater Columbus region- extending well beyond Columbus too. Here are just a few areas where we offer our full turnkey solar installation service experience:

  • Clintonville
  • Franklinton  
  • Downtown  
  • Near East Side  
  • Short North  
  • Upper Arlington  
  • German Village  
  • Hilliard   
  • Gahanna  
  • Bexley  
  • Grove City  
  • New Albany  
  • Dublin  
  • Pickerington  
  • Powell  
  • Blacklick   
  • Canal Winchester  
  • Reynoldsburg 

Working with your Utility in Columbus Ohio  

Most homes in Ohio are services by American Electric Power (AEP). AEP, like all other investor-owned utilities in the state of Ohio, is required to offer their customers net metering.     

What is net-metering?   

Net-metering allows you to store the energy you produce in the electric grid in the form of credits.   

When you produce more energy than you need, excess electricity travels back into the power grid. Energy sent back into the grid goes to power your neighbors’ homes. These credits appear on your monthly electric bill to help you keep track.    

During sunny summer months, when your solar system produces more than the energy you are using, you bank up credits. Your home uses more power than your solar system makes during the winter months, and you use up the credits you’ve earned.       

There are other rules that AEP is required to follow, being that they are an investor-owned utility. Your Columbus-based solar consultant works with homeowners in your area every day and will be able to answer any questions you have that may be specific to your location in Columbus.   

 

Solar Power Incentives and Tax Credits, Columbus Ohio  

Unfortunately, the city of Columbus, Ohio, or any city in Ohio for that matter, has specific solar incentives available to their residents.   

But, anyone who qualifies can take advantage of the 26% Investment Tax Credit.   

Otherwise known as the solar investment tax credit, federal investment tax credit, or ITC for short, this tax credit gives the solar system owner the ability to deduct 26% of the system cost from taxes owed.    

Get up to speed on the solar investment tax credit here.  

 

Choosing a Solar Company in Columbus Ohio   

Our top questions list for any of our customers looking to hire a full turnkey solar installer:  

  • How long have they been in business?   
  • How many projects have they done?   
  • Do they provide references? When you call those references, what do they say?   
  • Does your installer have a fully trained & licensed electrician on staff?    
  • Do their customers tend to stick with them?   
  • Does the installer have NABCEP certificate holders on staff?   
  • Are they BBB certified?   
  • How long is the workmanship warranty?     
  • Will they tell you if solar will not work well for you (due to roof condition, shading, or other factors)?  

  

Are you interested in a pre-prepared solar quote checklist? Download one here.   

 

Top Solar Company in Columbus Ohio

Solar power in Ohio has been dramatically changing and increasing in the past few years.

Third Sun Solar is Ohio’s longest-standing solar installer. We’ve been pleasing customers since 2000.

With over 1,250 projects completed in those years, we have plenty of references, reviews, and testimonials available. Third Sun always has licensed electricians and NABCEP certified professionals on staff.

Third Sun works closely with homeowners to explore all options to go solar at their homes. For some homes, solar simply doesn’t make sense… Third Sun tells homeowners when this is the case.

We love working collaboratively and in consultation with our neighbors in Ohio to help them make the best decision for their clean energy future.

Are you interested in getting a quote for your Columbus, Ohio, area home from Third Sun Solar?

Please fill out the form below to learn even more regional information from our experts & become a part of Columbus, Ohio’s growing clean energy movement!

Installing Solar In Ohio? 7 Things You Should Know  

Twenty years ago, when people first found out we installed solar in Ohio, they said: “you must have guts!”  

At that time, quite a few things were different. Prices were much higher, the technology wasn’t as advanced, and the number of Ohioans willing to invest was simply less than it is today.  

These days in Ohio, we see solar booming across the state- from municipal solar going up on government buildings in Cuyahoga County to libraries in rural Ohio to food pantries in Central Ohio and residential solar sprinkled in neighborhoods across the state.  

The market is bustling, and we’re so glad to see clean energy becoming commonplace in Ohio.  

Each state has different rules, regulations, incentives, and markets for solar energy. So, if you’re considering solar and doing research online: make sure what you’re reading is Ohio-specific.  

If you’re starting your research and wondering what you need to know when considering solar in Ohio, we’ve covered the essential bases in this article.  

 

1. Net-Metering rules in Ohio 

Your utility company is required to compensate you for the extra energy you produce in Ohio. 

The policy that requires compensation for excess solar generation is called net-metering. Net-metering increases the economic benefit of solar power by crediting you for the extra power your solar energy system produces.  

So, when you crank out 200% of what you use during sunny July, you bank credits that you’ll use to purchase utility power during the months where you don’t produce 100% of what you use.  

The amount of energy you produce and use will vary over the course of the year. Net metering helps you account for this difference by crediting you for the excess electricity your panels produce so you can use it later.  

 

2. Net Excess Generation  

Ohio’s energy market is de-regulated.  

So, the rate you’re credited for the power you return to the grid varies between different utility providers. Electric companies credit you at a net excess generation rate. The State of Ohio’s net metering policy does not require utilities to credit energy you produce at the full retail rate.   

Additionally, using credits for fixed charges on your bill (distribution charges, other fees) varies between electric suppliers.   

An experienced solar installer will help you understand your utility’s net excess generation rate is and how your utility handles fixed charges. 

 

3. Understanding the Advertisements  

We’ve seen a lot of wonky advertising over the years. And it’s getting weirder- maybe you’ve noticed. You’re not alone; we’ve scratched our heads about those ads on Facebook, too.  

Some claim that you’ll get cash back when you go solar. The truth is: there is no “special program” or event a government-issued solar stimulus program. To receive money back when you purchase your system, you’re simply borrowing more money than your solar system costs and getting some of it back.  

Some solar companies misleadingly use the word “free” in their ads. Actually, what they’re referring to is a zero money down, long-term, low-interest loan. Often, they offer what appears to be a very low interest rate, but they secretly add 15 – 25% to the cost of the system to buy down the rate from their loan partner.  

 

4. Solar in the Wintertime  

Can my solar panels produce energy if they are covered in snow? No, a solid covering of snow all but shuts off production. The good news is that overall production loss from the snow is minimal when looking at performance on an annual basis. Losing a day of production in January is a fraction of a day in July. 

Unless covered in snow, solar panels are more efficient in cold conditions. Like most electronics, solar panels function better at colder temperatures than under intense heat.   

Here at Third Sun Solar, our team takes winter’s shorter days, snowfall, and the orientation of sunlight into account when estimating the output of your system.  

 

5. Rural Cooperatives  

If your utility supplier in Ohio is a rural cooperative: pay attention to this.  

Because rural co-ops are member-owned and not required to follow regulations set out by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), they can set their own net metering rules.  

Rural electric co-ops in Ohio are not required to offer net metering like investor-owned utility companies are. Most of them do, however, not all.   

Because there isn’t one standard for the 24 rural electric co-ops, solar installers need to be familiar with the local rules, rates, and regulations. 

And if you know that your rural co-op has policies that disincentivize solar production – become an advocate! If you’re part of a co-op- use your vote, attend public meetings, and make your voice heard! Here is one example of our customers who had to advocate at the local level to get solar.   

 

6. Ohio State and Local Incentives  

The truth is, there aren’t any local or state incentives for solar in Ohio. That’s the way it’s been for a while now.  

Recent legislation has aimed at making solar even more inaccessible. While this legislation didn’t affect the economics for residential solar, it’s an indication of the priorities of our state government.  

Until 2023, the Federal Tax Credit for solar remains available to homeowners and stands as the most considerable cost savings. We hope – but we aren’t sure if there will be state or federal incentives on the horizon after that.  

Otherwise known as the solar investment tax credit, federal investment tax credit, or ITC for short, this tax credit gives the solar system owner the ability to deduct 26% of the system cost from taxes owed. 

For a long time, the tax credit allowed you to recoup 30% of solar system costs. 

The step-down schedule began in 2020 when the tax credit dropped from 30% to 26%. The stepdown was paused for two years when the federal government signed the 2020 Covid relief bill. So, homeowners have until the end of 2022 to claim the 26% tax credit benefit. In 2023 the tax credit will drop to 22%, then down to 0% for homeowners in 2024 (a 10% tax credit will remain in place for commercial solar projects). 

7. Solar Energy Storage 

There are a few different reasons choose to install battery backup with their solar energy systems.  

Number one: We’ve seen utility rates escalate at about 3% per year for the past ten years. We know rates will increase as the grid faces necessary upgrades, and many utilities consider a time-of-use rate structure, where electricity will cost more during peak demand hours.  

Solar energy storage allows you to consume more of the solar energy you generate, maximizing your solar investment, increasing independence, and lowering your carbon footprint.  

Number two: power during an outage. In some places in Ohio, blackouts are common. We see an uptick in interest in solar battery backup anytime a significant weather event disrupts the grid and causes blackout. Solar batteries assure you have power in the event of a grid outage.   

Installing a Solar Farm in Ohio

Over the past decade, solar in Ohio has boomed across the state. Increasingly, projects producing multiple megawatts (MW) of power are the norm. Before 2018, most solar projects in Ohio were residential, agricultural, or commercial and powered homes and facilities onsite. Today – solar farms and utility-scale solar is on the rise.  

What are Solar Farms?  

A solar farm is a large installation of solar PV panels that absorb energy from the sun, convert it into electricity, and send that electricity to the power grid for distribution and consumption by customers like you. 

Rural areas with sizeable amounts of available land are ideal for installing many solar panels that produce multiple megawatts of electricity. This electricity usually powers the local community or contributes to the larger national grid.  

Usually, utility companies or local governments finance these solar installation projects due to the sheer volume and high initial investment needed for a project of this scale.  

According to the Ohio State University Extension’s Farmland Owners Guide to Solar Leasing:

 “Two primary differences between commercial and residential solar projects and utility-scale solar projects are that utility-scale solar projects are typically greater than 5 MW, and the electricity generated is interconnected to the electric distribution or transmission grid. Under a utility-scale solar model, either an electrical utility owns the project or an independent project owner enters into a power purchase agreement to sell electricity to wholesale utility buyers.”  

Interested in Learning More About Utility-Scale Solar for your Property?  

We are excited by your commitment to accelerating the shift to clean energy in our state.  

The development of solar farms is not in our wheelhouse here at Third Sun Solar. However, we have some resources to share with you to get you started.  

We believe this is the best place to start if you’re interested in developing a solar farm in Ohio: Ohio State University Extension, Utility-Scale Solar Development, Solar Leasing Resources.  

Our specialty

At Third Sun, we specialize in full turnkey, grid-interactive solar system design, quoting, permitting, procurement, and installation for residential and commercial projects.  If you’re interested in a solar installation to power your home or business, complete the form below!

Home Solar Energy Production Guarantee

So, what is a home solar energy production guarantee?  

When you purchase a solar system, you will have many questions: how can I be sure that this technology will perform the way I was told it would?  

Building trust with your installer, reading reviews, checking references are all wonderful places to start.  

But, for added peace of mind and security, a built-in Energy Production Guarantee does not hurt!  

Third Sun Solar offers Omnidian Energy Production Guarantee 

When you invest in a solar system, you are investing in a long term solution. You count on your solar system to produce a certain amount of electricity each month, offsetting the electricity you take from the grid and lowering your electricity bills.  

One way we make clients more comfortable making this investment is by offering an energy production guarantee.  

This cashback energy production guarantee is provided through Omnidian. Read on to understand the benefits of a home solar energy production guarantee as well as the additional benefits you will receive through the program.  

How does it work?   

When you sign up for a solar evaluation at your home, your installer makes predictions about the amount of energy your solar system will make each year. They will use local weather data, the pitch of your roof, the footprint of where the solar system will go, and the panels you choose, among a few other factors.   

All of these calculations go into a prediction that Third Sun backs up with an energy production guarantee.   

In the chance that our predictions are off, and your solar system produces 95% or less energy annually than we told you it would: you are reimbursed in cash for the difference.   

Be aware when comparing solar installers: not all companies guarantee that the solar system will produce as much power as they say it will.   

The energy production guarantee comes with professional around-the-clock monitoring.   

With this service, you’re notified of solar system underperformance, often before you notice.   

If there is a maintenance issue, the Omnidian team will notify you, and our service team will come out to resolve the issue.  

What’s the difference between the energy production guarantee and the Third Sun Solar workmanship warranty?  

To give our clients the confidence to take control of their energy future by going solar, we offer a 20-year workmanship warranty, which we back up with our 20 years in business.   

The workmanship warranty works alongside the energy production guarantee. It guarantees our workmanship for 20 years. If any problems with your system are determined to result from faulty workmanship, any parts or labor costs are covered by the 20-year workmanship warranty.   

And, the energy production guarantee + monitoring will let us know if any issues need addressing.   

If there are, it is in our best interest to fix them ASAP.   

Why do I need a production guarantee if my panels have a Manufacturer Warranty?  

The first thing to consider is that a Solar Panel Manufacturer warranty covers the part itself – not the labor to de and re-install the panel. The energy production guarantee covers that gap.   

Second, the manufacturer warranty guarantees that a panel will produce a certain amount of power on its own. The manufacturer warranty doesn’t warranty things like weather variations that could decrease solar system performance. Again, the energy production guarantee covers that gap.   

Program Highlights – Omnidian Energy Production Guarantee   

  • 95% Energy Guarantee  
  • 100% Covered Maintenance (including wiring and inverters)   
  • 100% Peace of Mind  
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring  
  • Proactive Service Dispatch  
  • Live Support and Diagnostics  
  • The plan is pre-paid for five years with new solar systems  

Ready for a free solar evaluation of your home?   

2022: An Up to Date Guide to The Solar Investment Tax Credit

Updated: February 2022 

One of the greatest benefits of a solar energy investment is the tax benefits.

Homeowners who go solar not only eliminate their electric bill, but in 2022 they also can get 26% of the system cost back through the Solar Investment Tax Credit. 

This is bright news for homeowners who have experienced escalating energy costs. 2022 is shaping up to be the best year to go solar! 

The solar tax credit will have a big impact on the payback of your solar system. And it won’t be around forever (no matter how much we hope it will be).

We’ve compiled an up-to-date guide detailing the tax credit: how it works when it will expire and who qualifies.

What Is the Solar Tax Credit?

Otherwise known as the solar investment tax credit, federal investment tax credit, or ITC for short, this tax credit gives a solar system owner the ability to deduct 26% of the system cost from taxes owed. Solar Energy Storage that is installed in the same year as the solar energy system counts towards the tax credit too. 

For a long time, the tax credit allowed you to recoup 30% of solar system costs.

The step-down schedule began in 2020 when the tax credit dropped from 30% to 26%. The stepdown was put on pause for two years when the federal government signed the 2020 Covid relief bill. So, homeowners have until the end of 2022 to claim the 26% tax credit benefit. 

In 2023 the tax credit will drop to 22% then down to 0% for homeowners in 2024 (a 10% tax credit will remain in place for commercial solar projects). 2023 is the last year that homeowners will be able to claim a tax credit for a residential solar installation project.

What does the Solar Tax Credit Look Like? 

If you get a solar system installed in 2022 for $25,000, you will recoup $6,500 through the solar tax credit. Getting that system installed in 2023 – you’ll only be able to recoup $5,500.

While a drop from 26% to 22% doesn’t seem like a big jump, it is real money that you could re-invest into:

  • Your favorite sustainability non-profit doing great work in your community
  • Energy efficiency home improvement projects like new insulation or new doors
  • A new savings account for an electric vehicle!

Do I Qualify for the Solar Tax Credit?

What are the requirements to take the solar tax credit?

Only one!  You must have a tax liability. In other words, you must owe taxes to take advantage of this tax credit.

One of the biggest misconceptions about the solar tax credit is that you get money back when you go solar. The federal government does not give money out in the form of grants or direct payments. The federal solar tax credit offsets taxes that you owe.

Solar Tax Credit FAQ’s

Can I carry it forward?

The law requires the credit to be used in full the year your system is installed if you have enough tax liability.

If you do not have enough tax liability, you can carry the tax credit forward into the following years. The rules start to change here for commercial and residential entities.

Commercial entities can carry forward the tax credit for up to 20 years to recoup taxes.

For residential solar system owners, the tax liability can be carried forward for up to five years, until the full amount is used up.

Is there a cap?

No, there is no limit or cap on the solar tax credit. No matter how much you spend on your solar installation you’ll be able to claim the tax credit in full for the year the system was installed.

What expenses can I claim with this tax credit?

  • The full turnkey solar installation can be claimed on the solar tax credit.
  • As long as they’re powered by solar, solar batteries can be claimed.
  • Batteries retrofits are also eligible if installed within one year of the solar installation.  
  • Roof repair and replacement are not covered by the solar tax credit.

Why Solar Loans are Different  

While the right financing choice comes down to your specific circumstances, loans for solar have certain advantages over traditional loan options and lines of credit – particularly for recent or first-time homebuyers, as well as homeowners that want to save on their energy bills and be part of a better future for our planet. 

Until recently there haven’t been great loan options for solar. But in recent years things have changed, which is why you may have noticed an increase in chatter about “going solar for $0 down” This could leave you wondering what all the commotion is about and how to choose the best solution for your family.  

In this article, you’ll find lists to help you decide if a solar loan is right for youUltimately, we‘ll let you know what makes our Smart Solar Financing program different For additional information, check out this recording of Consultant, David Zelasko reviewing solar loan benefits. 

Why you many consider a solar loan:

Purchasing a solar energy system can be a big cost to pay upfront. Here are some reasons for homeowners to consider a loan for their solar array  

  • Pay monthly instead of a lump sum 
  • No money down 
  • No payment penalties 
  • Increase property value immediately (lowering the utility bill for the next homeowner, increasing your property value)  
  • Lock in your electricity at a fixed rate  
  • Take advantage of tax incentives 

Questions to ask yourself when considering a solar loan:

Solar isn’t one size fits all. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re thinking about financing your solar energy system to help you choose the best finance partner 

  • Do you prefer small monthly payments or small interest rates? 
  • Are you okay with having a lien on your home?  
  • Can you take the tax credit?  
  • Will you be looking to finance additional home improvement items (new roof, electric vehicle, backup batteries)?  

The benefits of our Smart Solar Financing

  • $0 down 
  • No prepayment penalties  
  • Ameturized loans with no lien on the home 
  • Everything secured on the loan is secured by the equipment itself – if you don’t want to do a home equity or put a lien on the home, this is a good option for you.  
  • Various loan terms – 10, 15 and 20 year loans  
  • Will finance battery storage 
  • Good option if looking to utilize the tax credit  
  • Pay down your principle with your tax credit to receive an even better monthly payment  

An important difference

Unlike home equity loans, our Solar Financing partner provides access to solar loans that aren’t based on how much of your mortgage you’ve paid off and don’t ask for a lien on your home. Instead, they’re based on your ability to pay going forwards, as represented by your credit score and secured by the value within the solar system itself 

One reason solar loans are different than other home improvement loans:  a solar loan allows you to own an asset that generates significant financial value. It’s hard to think of another home appliance or renovation that can generate financial value.  

Mission driven

Our mission is to accelerate the shift to clean energy. It’s because of our commitment to values that we partner with another Certified Benefit Cooperation to bring you the best Solar Financing on the market. Building a better world can start with you and can start in your home.  

We’re excited to offer these loan options to make solar more accessible to everyone interested in making their home more sustainable, more self-sufficient and achieve financial savings over the lifespan of your system.