There’s an old saying that perfectly captures the current climate of the solar industry in regards to rising prices: strike while the iron is hot. Now, this may sound strange, because as we’ve often discussed, there is always a good reason to get into solar. For instance, rising summer heat causes AC usage to spike, and solar systems are well equipped to offset the ensuing cost. Winter temperature drops encourage an increase in heater usage, and once again a solar system is perfect for neutralizing your increased electric bill. Beyond these seasonal considerations, there are many evergreen benefits of solar, like local programs, federal tax credits, energy bill savings, property value increases, and protection against outages. Not to mention the many positive environmental impacts of renewable energy generation!
There are so many good reasons to get into solar, but one factor in particular has made it so that this is the time to seize on a unique opportunity and take advantage of the current benefits of solar before the window closes: rising prices. Rising prices are becoming a problem across the board, and there are particular changes coming to the solar industry that you need to be aware of, because things could begin to change rapidly in the coming weeks and months.
“The tumult is the result of a decision by the Commerce Department to investigate whether Chinese companies are circumventing U.S. tariffs by moving components for solar panels through four Southeast Asian countries.” - The New York Times
This is from a recent article in the New York Times, which discusses the impact of a current investigation on the solar industry at large. This particular investigation has not completely frozen the industry, as the article suggests, but it has contributed to the trend of rising prices that many other industries have experienced.
The benefits of solar will always support the investment, but that doesn’t mean you should pay more for no reason. Our mission is to make solar more available and accessible, and it’s because of this that we believe now is the best time to get into solar. Let’s take a look at how the industry is changing, and how you can strike while the iron is hot.
Why are we dealing with rising prices?
There are a number of factors contributing to rising prices across many industries - not just solar. If you don’t own a solar system, then you’re at the mercy of utility pricing, and you have to buy energy from the grid at whatever price is currently available. This means that you’re vulnerable to fluctuating prices so long as you don’t have a way to generate your own electricity. These fluctuations are already on the rise, as price hikes prepare to cash in on increased demand. As people come home for the summer and spend more time indoors to beat the heat, the demand for electricity increases. Energy costs are bound to spike, and grid instability becomes a real concern. California is well aware of what happens when the power goes out or equipment malfunctions cause ignition. All of the risk and headache of dealing with rising prices and increased demand can be alleviated with self generation - a solar system allows you to avoid the spiked bills and protects you against outages, provided you have battery storage set up.
There is also the NEM factor to consider. The current Net Energy Metering agreement, NEM 2, offers benefits to solar users that we believe are appropriately motivating and rewarding to solar adopters. NEM 2 aligns with our mission of accessibility, and is in keeping with our statewide clean energy initiatives. However, there are proposed changes to this agreement that may be on their way sooner than later. Specifically, a proposed solar tax is set to be levied against those who have already stepped up to lead the way forward with solar, a move which certainly seems at odds with California’s stated goals. This change is not being pushed by consumers, but by the utility itself, which brings us back to the original point - utilities are driving rising prices across the board, and the time to prepare for these changes is now. You can still get your solar installation grandfathered in under the current NEM rules, so long as the agreement has not been altered. The main concern is that we simply cannot say for sure if and when a change will come. Progress has been stagnant for the last few months, but there are rumblings of a thaw coming our way. Get in while the window is open and you can secure your lasting savings today.
Are there other factors to consider?
It’s no secret that global instability and supply chain issues have created problems for everyone. As mentioned in the New York Times piece, the investigation into these companies has led to a halting of imports from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, which “provide 82% of the most popular type of solar modules used in the United States" (-NYT). While some companies may have been caught off guard by the ramifications of this investigation, Simply Solar has worked tirelessly to secure the necessary materials for us to continue providing customized solar solutions to anyone who wants one. That being said, there is no avoiding the rising prices that stem from these efforts. Scarcity leads to inflation, and the costs of installation are sure to rise as a result. Now, some companies are being more proactive and protective about these pending price changes - we are dedicated to bearing the brunt of these costs so that our customers can still make the switch to solar at an affordable price. We have also instigated contract locks to guarantee that your price will not shift for 30 days. Bear in mind that prices may shift multiple times throughout that period, but we are committed to securing that initial price to reward savvy investors. As we said previously, now is the time to strike while the iron is hot, and you can take advantage of this unique opportunity by securing your own affordable prices today.
What can I do about rising prices?
The best thing you can do to combat rising prices is to get in sooner than later. Again, no solar investment will ever be without value, but we are advising you to act quickly to ensure that you get the most savings possible. Ultimately, a solar installation 6 months from now will provide just as much value and just as many benefits as one installed today, but the difference in price is worth considering. When we design a system, we size it in such a way that you get as much value as possible for your needs and budget, and with that philosophy in mind, you can see why we might encourage you to secure the lowest possible price. Sure you could pay more for something than you need to, but why would you want to? The time to strike is now, while the iron is hot and the rising prices are kept at bay. Secure your savings today by reaching out to one of our solar consultants - they can get a price locked in for you that is reasonable, and help you start taking advantage of the value of solar today.