Why 2023 Is The Time To Go Solar
Updated: Mar 31
Now more than ever it has been prevalent that the opportunity to convert to solar is advantageous to both the consumer and the environment. The solar industry's growth has increased tremendously over the past decade alone. It now has the opportunity to create a more sustainable future while creating the jobs of tomorrow for future generations. As we have seen with solar panel manufacturers like Q Cell creating new manufacturing facilities in Georgia, it has helped create new capabilities for solar in the United States and decreased solar's barrier to entry for the average consumer. Solar is the energy of the future and the most sustainable approach to help reduce our carbon footprint one home at a time so it only makes sense to invest now while the incentives are ripe.
1. Government Incentives
Although originally slated to reduce below 30% in 2023, the Inflation Reduction Act extended the solar investment tax credit (ITC) to 30% through 2032. It will then drop to 26% in 2033, 22% in 2034, and 0% in 2035. Nonprofits can even receive the ITC in direct pay reimbursement due to their tax-exempt status and can even get an additional 10-20% on their ITC (max of 40-50% total) if they are in qualified areas per the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Qualified businesses can even get specific incentives such as the USDA Reap Grant which now pays up to 40% of your business's solar system costs. Small businesses in eligible rural areas or agricultural producers with at least 50% of their gross income being from agricultural operations can apply for the USDA Reap Grant. Rural areas with populations of less than 50,000 and agricultural producers in rural or non-rural areas are eligible areas.
2. Return On Investment
The return on investment from going solar in comparison to powering your home fully from the grid is astronomical. An average system size of 10 kW can produce over $30,000 in savings total. The ROI continues to increase as the EDG rate was just increased to $.08894 per kWh in comparison to the previous rate of $0.027 per kWh one year ago. For those that choose to install a larger system that over-produces its home's needs, sending excess solar energy back to the grid will pay out much more over the system's life. Also, Indiana and Illinois have some of the most expensive residential electricity rates in the country with Indiana being ranked 13 at 17.15 cents per kWh and Illinois 12 at 17.25 cents per kWh according to Statista's report in 2022. Especially after considering the annual utility rate inflation of 4% and a 25-year lifespan of a solar system, the savings by switching to solar easily outweighs the upfront costs.
3. Increase in Property Value
Solar systems can even increase your home's property value which is an often overlooked bonus of installing solar. A solar system is made up of physical assets that produce energy for you which is very valuable for a prospective homebuyer. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), your property value increases by $20 for every $1 reduced annually in utility bills. So, if you save $800 per year by installing solar, your home's value will increase by $16,000. Your house can even sell up to 20% faster if you add a solar system according to Forbes. Newer and more high-quality panels will be more valuable and help with increasing the value as well. Luckily, Morton Solar works with Amicus to provide high-quality panels such as Q Cell to provide the best performance, efficiency, and longevity to your solar system. If you decide to sell your home in the future, you can expect to fetch a higher price for your home, sell your home faster, and recoup your system costs if you haven't already broke-even on your system.
4. Energy Independence
Going solar means you no longer have to fully rely on the grid during power outages if you have a solar battery. Especially living in Tornado Alley, it is common for the power supply from the grid to get disrupted due to outages. Having a battery like the Tesla Powerwall to back up your home in case of emergency and keeping the lights on while your neighbors are lighting candles is one of the great benefits of producing your own energy.
5. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
When you install solar, you begin to use clean and renewable energy that produces zero greenhouse gas emissions. By going solar, you are doing your part to reduce your impact on the environment.