The solar industry continues to evolve and grow, installing a record 2.7 gigawatts of new capacity in the first quarter of 2019 according to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA). (That’s enough to power 810,000 homes!) SEIA also reports that the total U.S. solar capacity is expected to double in the next 5 years. While the industry grows, there are still many homeowners and businesses who haven’t taken a serious look at solar in recent years. Some of this comes from uncertainty about the best time to buy solar and hopes of cheaper prices in the near future. If you’re wondering “should I install solar panels now or wait,” the short answer is now!
Will Solar Panels Get Cheaper?
The main reason people wait to go solar is because they expect solar panels to get cheaper. And yes, solar panels will get cheaper over time, but any further drop in prices will be relatively small. A solar panel in 1977 cost $77 per watt, where today’s market averages $3-4 per watt installed. The dramatic cost reductions in the past decades came largely through increases in panel efficiency and efficiencies of scale in manufacturing, but the gains in these areas have slowed as the solar industry matured. The cost of solar panels are stabilizing, and any gains in panel efficiency are slowing down.
Additionally, the total cost to install solar panels on your home or business include the cost of labor, hardware, inverters, sales tax, permit fees, and overhead costs. These other costs haven’t changed much over time, meaning any drop in price for solar panels would be a limited portion of the total cost for your installed system.
The Cost of Waiting
Solar panels are an investment that can save you thousands of dollars by offsetting your electrical usage and reducing or eliminating your electricity bill. In addition, solar panels also increase the value of your home or property. That means you can enjoy the savings now, and also cash in on increased value if and when you sell.
The sooner you install solar on your home or business, the sooner you’ll start offsetting your electricity bill and saving money. Every month you wait is another month that you continue to pay the utility company instead of owning your power production. And because the cost of solar has come down so much in the past decades, the cost of waiting may outweigh the cost of any future increases in efficiency or decreases in cost.
Get a quote from your local solar company to find out what your annual savings with solar would look like and to get a free report with your home solar ROI or business solar ROI. That is the first step in accurately assessing if solar is right for you. And don’t worry – our team doesn’t work on commission, so it’s easy to get your questions answered without pressure.
Should I Install Solar Panels Now or Wait?
Many homeowners and business have been asking this question, and the immense growth of the solar industry reflects the answer: now is the time to go solar! Even though solar panels will get cheaper over time, panels are just a piece of installation cost and are not likely to decrease in price significantly. Solar panels may be a new technology compared to fossil fuels, but the solar market and the technology behind it have matured. Now is the time to talk to a solar expert and find out how much money you could save by installing solar for your home or business.