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Solar Power Pricing In The Bay Area And Information On Cost

August 18, 2018

Solar Power Information and Pricing

More Americans are enjoying the advantages of renewable solar energy now more than ever with the falling price of solar cells brought upon by their mass production in the United States and China. The falling prices for solar energy panels will continue to drop despite the tariff on imported solar cells which went into effect in January 2018. The tariff is speculated to incentives greater production of solar cells in the United States which may drop the price of American made solar cells. The tariff will also incentives foreign producers to meet the new market demands which may mean even cheaper prices of solar cells that are produced abroad.

Despite the 30% tariff on imported solar cells, the United States government and state utility companies are allowing individuals that invest in solar energy to enjoy tax breaks and receive other forms of government and state-funded aid. The state and government aid greatly reduce the overall price of solar panel installation. If you are considering solar energy now is your time to act. The state and government programs, unfortunately, come with an expiration date. Though the price of solar energy will continue to drop, no one should turn their backs on the great price reduction and other incentives offered by the state and federal government.

In the state of California, the average price of solar panel installation was between $15,000 to $20,000. This is before state and government aid has been applied. The average cost is affected by varying electrical needs of every home. Not every home will require a $15,000 dollar installation, others may find prices ranging from $8,000 to $10,000 depending on their consumer needs. The price is usually negotiable and our agents do their best to supply a quote that will work for you.

Not every individual is capable of paying the total price of installation out of pocket. In fact, most individuals that invest in a solar energy program do so with the help of state-funded financial programs, credit loans, secured credit loans, and through other payment programs. We understand not everyone has $15k sitting in a bank account which is why we offer payment programs that reduce the initial cost of installation.

In addition, not everyone wants to purchase a solar panel program. Individuals who do not own property or who wish to benefit from the cheap price of renewable energy may do so without having to actually ‘buy’ the product. For these individuals, they may find that a renting or leasing option is more in line with their financial capabilities or interests. Whatever the case may be, whether you buy or rent your program, you will notice a reduction of your electrical bill and over time, you will notice an increase in your savings account.

Whether you are seeking solar panel installation for a residency or for a commercial building, give us a call today to receive a fair solar panel installation quote. The Sun Solar Electric team can be reached at 707-658-2157. Upon understanding your overall goals and the project at hand, we will send out a solar energy specialist who will conduct a complete evaluation and inspection to ensure that a) your building is capable of supporting the extra weight (solar panel weight) b) you receive a solar energy program that fits your needs. The following information will walk you through some of the factors that you may encounter or consider when planning a solar panel installation.

The United States Tariff on Imported Solar Technology

First and foremost, let's discuss the United States tax on imported solar cells and how that may affect the price of installation. On January of 2018, President Trump’s administration passed a thirty percent tariff on imported solar cells and solar panels. The tariff was passed with the intention to help our local solar cell markets compete with the markets from abroad. A tariff is basically a tax on imported goods that aim to dissuade the population from buying products from abroad. Tariffs usually incentives shopping at local markets which in theory should add value to our economy. Unfortunately, by imposing a tariff, it means that the consumer will most likely have to pay more out of pocket for installation fees. In addition, a tariff on solar cells and solar panels is proving to cause more damage than good.

As a result of the tariff solar cell companies have been forced to let go of thousands of solar energy specialists across the United States. Solar energy companies all around the United States use solar technology that comes from abroad. Local solar energy companies have been able to reduce the price of installation by buying their technology from foreign solar technology manufacturers. The tariff which aimed to produce more American jobs by incentivizing local market consumption is proving unfruitful at the moment. A solar technology tariff is effectively hurting the US market which is why Congress is already working to ‘relax’ some of these tariffs.

Rest assured that despite the tariff, the installation prices continue to remain accessible by the masses. Despite the tariff which aims to reduce our dependence on foreign-made solar technologies, it is still clear that the state and government will continue to provide assistance programs for those who wish to pursue the perks of solar energy technology.

How will the tariff affect the price of installation?

The United States solar technology tariff will last a total of four years and will decrease by five percent each year. The tariff will start at thirty percent and will last until the end of 2018. On January 2019, the tariff will decrease to twenty-five percent. On January 2020, the tariff will decrease even further to twenty percent and then to fifteen percent on January 2021. The four-year tariff program is meant to give American solar cell manufacturers an edge on the market that is currently being dominated by Chinese and South Korean manufacturers. The tariff on imported solar technology will increase the cost of installation by four to five percent during the first year of the tariff.

On average, the tariff will increase the costs of installation anywhere between five hundred to four thousand dollars. The exact number will depend on a variety of factors. There are companies that are capable of absorbing the tariff and will continue to provide competitive prices to the American market. In addition, there are a number of government incentives that aid with the overall costs of installation. Overall, the tariff adds an additional burden to families who are considering a more economical option. At Sun Solar Electric we believe everyone should have access to solar energy. To speak with a professional about financing your solar energy installation, call us today to learn how we can help with the overall costs of installation.

Financing Solar Energy

Despite the tariff on solar technology, it is crucial to understand that solar technology has never been this cheap. In addition, it has never been as financial backed by the government as it is now. There are many ways in which the government and local agencies are helping the population with the cost of solar panel installation. There are government lending programs, government tax breaks, and other incentives that allow individuals to install a solar energy program for a reasonable cost. In many cases, solar energy investors will find loans that allow the individual or company to make monthly payments as opposed to paying an upfront cost. The following will discuss ways in which individuals across the United States are funding their solar energy systems.

Government Tax Breaks

The United States government has applied a 100% solar energy property tax break for individuals that invest in solar technology. Commercial, industrial, and residential solar energy systems have been part of a tax break program since January 1999 and will stay into effect until December 31, 2024. To take advantage of the government tax break on your solar energy system you must have begun an installation program before the start of 2025.

Government Financing Program

The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a program that aims to provide loans that cover the upfront costs of solar installation. The program is meant to reduce the initial financial impact when an individual decides to go solar. PACE loan programs can range up to twenty years and can be transferred to the next tenant or building owner upon sale. PACE programs allow individuals to pay the upfront cost without having to drain his or her wallet. To learn more about the PACE programs please contact a solar energy expert.

Solar Power Purchase Agreements

Individuals who wish to benefit from renewable energy, but who are not looking to become owners of a solar energy system, may be more interested in a solar power purchase agreement (SPPA). In an SPPA or a PPA, the building owner may have a solar energy system installed on their property for zero costs. The SPPA allows individuals to ‘host’ a solar energy system on their rooftops and are capable of paying for the solar energy that is produced. In these agreements, the installing party will take care of the maintenance of the system and will sell the energy produced back to the tenants for a low cost. SPPA's have been known to benefit both the receiving and providing parties. SPPA’s allow the providing party to claim certain tax credits and other incomes that come with the selling of energy. On the other hand, the receiving party will obtain clean renewable energy without having to pay an upfront cost or maintenance fees.

Building owners that choose to access solar energy through an SPPA will unfortunately not be eligible for the government tax break. The tax break applies to the total costs of installation. Since there are no costs of installation for individuals in an SPPA there is no tax break that can be applied. Simply put, government tax breaks can only be applied when the individual has bought a solar energy program.  

Solar Technology Lease

A solar energy lease works much in the same way as a solar power purchase agreement. In both options building, owners can have a solar energy system installed for little to no costs. In a lease program, after the system is installed, the building owner will pay a monthly rental fee. Unlike with an SPPA, a lease is a rent for the whole solar energy system meaning that the energy produced can be consumed in whole by the tenant(s). In SPPA, individuals are paying per the watt while individuals in a lease are paying a set monthly fee.

Mortgage Loans

Individuals who wish to invest in a solar energy system may do so by taking out a mortgage loan. Usually it is never advisable to take out a mortgage loan to buy certain items, but in this case, it is an advisable option. Mortgage loans are tied to real assets which are why most individuals will invest such loans on other real assets that will maintain their value through time. Solar energy systems are real investments that add value to the property and are capable of paying for themselves in the long run. Building owners that use a mortgage loan to pay for the installation costs of solar energy will benefit from the government tax program.

The solar energy installation requires the attention of a specialized electrician who is capable of carefully and professionally installing the program. Failure properly install a solar energy program can lead to certain hazards that can provoke a fire. During the installation process, there multiple moving parts that need to be inspected and installed by a qualified person.

The installation process is easy and we make sure that all moving parts are properly installed so that they may pass inspection. Upon installing a solar energy program, the system cannot be used until a regional inspector has signed off on the project. Inspectors make sure that the program will not cause any fires or other electrical issues that can affect the neighborhood. To speak with a specialized solar energy expert and to learn more about solar energy, you may contact the Sun Solar Electric at 707-658-2157.

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