3 Solar Power Predictions for 2016

Welcome 2016

Quite a lot happened in 2015 that will bring improvements to our homes and environment. Now that 2016 is here, we wanted to make some solar power predictions around what we think is in store for the Midwest.

1 – More homeowners will go solar. The renewal of the ITC will allow solar installations in the Midwest to catch up to what has been going on in the coastal states. More and more homeowners will turn to solar this year as they watch their electricity bills increase due to rising costs of fossil fuels and rate hikes approved by PUCO.

2 – Storage is going to be talked about more than installed this year. We don’t think 2016 is the year for energy storage, although it will start creeping more and more into the media. We’ve already seen the excitement building around energy storage prototypes, but in the Midwest, we think it will be a few years away until energy storage provides financial benefits.

3 – Solar installation prices will continue to drop, although only slightly. PV modules have already seen significant price cuts over the last few years, so any future drops in price are more likely to come from installation innovations. These types of efficiency changes are only likely to result in small cost cuts and not on the scale as has been witnessed one the last few years.

Are solar panels noisy?

How noisy are solar panels? When operating, solar panels make no noise. They have no moving parts. Solar energy systems generate electricity in complete silence.


How can solar protect against rising energy costs?

Solar offers a fixed-cost hedge against future energy cost increases. It makes your future energy costs more predictable, and lower.

Solar energy systems have high up-front cost, but once installed, the fuel (the sun) is free forever. Due to the thirty-year system life and very low maintenance costs, once the system is purchased, the cost of energy is fixed at a known quantity. This compares with conventional electric energy costs, which have been rising at around 5% per year and may be expected to rise even faster in the future. Conventional energy prices, with their dependence on fossil fuels (coal, gas, and oil) are subject to the volatility of those markets, as well as any future costs of environmental remediation or carbon emissions penalties.

Several states have tiered energy prices in which the price per kWh of electrical energy consumption is lowest at night (when demand is lowest) and highest during the afternoon (when demand is highest). Because solar systems produce maximum energy during midday and afternoon hours, solar electric systems offset the highest-priced energy in a tiered pricing market. In Ohio, a solar electric system is a great bet on future adoption of tiered pricing in the Ohio markets. Install solar now, and if tiered pricing comes in, you’re equipped to offset the highest-cost energy and thereby save the most money on your electric bill.


Smart Solar Finance—Owning Solar versus Leasing Solar

Why Let Someone Else Profit From Your Solar Investment?

Our society is seeing a great surge in people taking steps to be more green in their lives and work. Installing solar panels is one of the most visible and tangible green actions households can take, and with that in mind, many people are taking a fresh look at solar electric for their homes and businesses. A growing, maturing solar industry means lower manufacturing costs and a lower cost of solar energy. In recent years, the falling price of silicon has also contributed to lower prices of solar panels and making solar energy more affordable for everyone. Experienced solar energy companies like Third Sun Solar are now offering easy finance options for home solar panel systems.

Solar Home Ownership Made Easier

In Los Angeles, a booming solar city where thousands of homeowners have acquired residential solar through leasing, many people are now taking a second look at their solar panel lease—with regrets. Selling a house with a solar lease adds complications, and in some cases, they are now realizing they could have done better financially—much better—by buying their system outright.

With solar loan programs becoming more available and popular, people can now make an investment in installed solar panel kits for their home with little or no money down. If your credit score is good, you can get a good rate and easy terms. Our smart financing options allow us to offer easier purchasing options with better long-term returns than leasing.

The benefits of buying residential solar power, in many cases, far outweigh the benefits of leasing. Under our financing program, all of these advantages apply:

  • Little or no down payment
  • Customer may be eligible for a federal tax credit
  • Customer may gain asset value on home
  • Payments may decrease over time
  • There are no pre-payment penalties

An Investment That Pays You Over Time

Financing your investment in solar can put purchasing within reach and pay nice dividends—in fact, an investment in solar can outpace many other available investments these days. Using either our smart financing, a traditional refinanced mortgage, or using a home equity line of credit (HELOC) can pay for the system and reap solid downstream savings.

Purchasing a solar power system is a great long-term investment that can increase the value of solar homes more and more as utility rates rise over time. The immediate savings on your electric bill can multiply as rates rise, as they are predicted to do. No one knows how fast or how far utility rates will rise; in states like Ohio, where electric rates are low because utilities burn coal in aging power plants, chances are that rates will rise sharply as utilities are forced to replace those aging plants with newer, cleaner ones. Long-term energy savings with clean solar on your rooftop may be more and more attractive to home buyers as rates rise over time.

Downsides of Solar Leasing

Many people are drawn to solar leasing for the same reasons they are drawn to leasing cars—these leases require little money down on signing, and they can “drive more car for less money.” But that sidesteps the fact that they are creating no ownership equity. Dealers love leasing cars, as they make more money that way. With solar energy systems having a productive 30+ year lifecycle, a purchase decision can pay you the dividends, rather than letting someone else make that money off your rooftop.

Put the Money in Your Own Pocket

The advantages of solar leasing include low or no money down and a reduced electric bill that is consistent month to month. But consider these solar energy facts: if you lease, you do not own your solar panels, someone else does; you cannot take the 30% Federal Tax Credit, as you do not own the system; and the reason lease companies offer leases is that they represent earning opportunities for them. Solar ownership puts that earning opportunity in your pocket.

In states like California, where solar has been growing by leaps and bounds, leasing offers consumers a way to spread the up-front cost of solar over a long period of time, while also saving on their monthly electric bill. But lease payments are passed on to the home buyer in the event of a sale, and that is another drawback for a solar lease—selling the home may be more difficult because purchasers must have high enough credit scores to meet the leasing company requirements.

Choose Smart Solar Financing

Purchasing your solar system from one of the better solar panel companies can make the most financial sense in the long run. Purchasing is easier now thanks to lower costs, the 30% Federal Tax Credit and good financing options. Federal tax incentives are set to expire within the next 3 years, so the best time to go solar is now! Call us for details—877-OWN-SOLAR (877-696-7652).