Myth: Solar will get more efficient and cheaper, so I should wait.
The Fallacy Explained:
Solar manufacturing technology costs have fallen more than one-hundred fold since we first used solar cells to power our spacecraft, and there is every indication that this trend will continue. So why not wait to purchase solar?
The biggest reason is that there are costs other than manufacturing associated with solar – as well as current incentives set to expire – that could actually make solar more expensive in the near future. According to SEIA, “The Investment Tax Credit (‘ITC’) is a 30 percent federal tax credit for solar systems on residential (under Section 25D) and commercial (under section 48) properties that, under current law, remains in effect through December 31, 2016…. After this date the commercial credit (under section 48) will drop to 10 percent and the residential credit (under Section 25D) will drop to zero—unless Congress extends this deadline or changes the ‘placed in service’ component of the law to a “commence construction” provision.”
Thus, waiting for prices to drop could increase the costs of your solar panels by 20-30% after December 31, 2016.
Caveat: Be sure to check with an expert regarding your local incentives and disincentives for solar to determine if the time is right for you. For example, if you are an Alabama Power customer, there is a current monthly fee of $5 per rated kilowatt of generating capacity that solar installers call a “deal-breaker.” For more info on Federal and State Renewable Energy Incentives that may apply to you, see the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.