Solar Panel Sales Heat Up As Tax Incentives Cool Down

For homeowners who are considering investing in solar panels, time may be of the essence and now is certainly better than later.

That’s because the Investment Tax Credit, a 30 percent tax credit responsible for driving the solar industry, is set to expire by the end of the year. Congress is considering an extension of the tax credit based on its popularity, but its ratification is far from certain.

Residential solar companies like Elon Musk’s SolarCity have benefitted for the ITC, which has enabled them to sell solar panels and electricity at a fraction of the cost of traditional power. The leading provider of residential solar power, SolarCity aims to have a million customers by 2018, according to the Motley Fool.

In addition to the traditional idea of buying solar panels and financing them through a loan, SolarCity now offers solar leasing which allows customers to skip the high upfront costs. Instead homeowners agree to buy electricity at a specified cost generated from the panels the company installs on their roof.

The addition of the new Tesla battery makes the addition of solar an even more attractive addition now that energy generated throughout the day can be stored for use at night.

But be sure to invest in solar now.

An industry report obtained by Breaking Energy shows that companies will be pushing to sell solar panels in the upcoming years.

“The next two years will see a flurry of project completion announcements and unprecedented installation figures from the utility solar sector.”

If you’re interested in purchasing solar panels for your home there are a few things to consider first, according to CBS News.

1) Check for local regulations covering the installation of solar panels including home owner association covenants and make sure to get the proper permits.

2) Determine what your goals are. Homeowners need to decide if they want to run their entire house off the grid or just supply power for part of their house like the air conditioning.

3) Figure out what you need and what you already have. Figure out how much power your home needs and look at whether your roof is strong enough to support the installation of solar panels.

4) Put it all together. Calculate the annual savings, total up the installation costs and subtract the tax subsidies and choose a vendor to put it all together.

Solar has become so popular that officials from New York are building a micro power grid in Brooklyn that’s capable of taking the city off the main grid and supplying power during extreme conditions, according to the Inquisitr.

Join the green revolution and see if solar is right for you.

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]