If you’ve been thinking about going solar, but dragging your feet on making the decision, here’s an incentive — the investment tax credit (ITC), which is the federal solar tax credit, will be dropping from 26% to 22% by 2023. It’s already dropped from 30% in 2019 to where it currently sits. The ITC was established in 2005 by the Energy Policy Act, and it means that you can deduct the specified percentage of the cost of your solar system from your federal taxes. The ITC is set to expire in 2023, unless renewed by Congress, and may drop even lower if it is renewed. Now is the time to act to ensure you get the 26% tax credit rate!

So if you’re ready to go green and start SAVING some green ($$$), here’s what you need to know before making the switch and going solar:

How Much Does A Solar System Cost?

On average, the current cost of a solar panel system for a home is at $2.49 per watt. This brings the total cost of an average residential solar powered home, which requires around 7 kW, to around $17,500 — that’s before the federal tax credit, which at its current 26% would bring down the cost to about $12, 800.00. In California, there are low-income rebates available to help get solar systems into lower than average income homes and communities. 

How Much Does Solar Save?

The savings you see on your electric bill will depend on a few different factors — how much sunlight your panels get, the size of your home and roof, the amount of electricity your household uses, and the rates of your local utility company. Luckily for Southern California and Los Angeles homeowners, the sunshine factor is on our side, so your panels should get plenty of light. Let’s say your average monthly electric bill is around $110, with solar you would bring that down to about $17 per month, saving you $93 every month. Again, monthly solar savings are estimated and based on roof size and shape, access to sunlight, and local electricity prices. 

How Long Does A System Last?

The life expectancy of your solar panel system is about 25 – 30 years. Most major solar panel brands have a minimum life warranty of 25 years, while some premium brands go up to 30 years. This doesn’t mean that the panels just stop working after that amount of time, it just means that the energy production will have probably lessened by what the manufacturer considers a significant amount. 

What Are The Different Types of Home Panel Systems?

There are three main systems to choose from when deciding on a home solar system:

Grid-tiered 

A Grid-tiered system is most common for an average residential home. The system is made up of rooftop solar panels that produce DC power. Inverters will invert that power into AC power which can then be used in your home. Excess energy that’s generated in the daytime will flow back into the grid, and at night, when solar energy production is low, your home will be powered by the grid. 

Hybrid

Hybrid systems are similar to Grid systems, except they include a battery that stores the excess energy your panels produce and allow you to use this energy instead of pulling from the grid when your solar panels aren’t producing. Another benefit is that hybrid systems provide a backup for when there is a grid power outage, and are popular in areas with frequent roll-out power outages, like California. Batteries also qualify for solar tax credits and depending on the city, offer rebates as well.

Off-grid

Off-grid solar systems are not connected to the public electric grid at all, meaning your source of power is solely coming from your panels and batteries. These systems are normally more expensive because you’ll need more panels and energy storage to ensure you have a sufficient supply of energy. It’s also highly recommended that you have a backup generator with an off-grid system. The benefits of an off-grid system is that you are completely energy independent and can avoid any negative situations that come with using the main public utility grid. 

We believe solar energy is going to be a requirement in newly built homes in the future. If you’re thinking about making the switch, now is the time to do it with optimal tax credits and rates. Go green, go solar!