Whether it’s a cell phone, smartwatch, or tablet, when it comes to technology, one of the most exciting things about it is that devices are always getting better. Advances in technology often give us easier-to-use products with more features for less money.
And while that’s exciting, it can also be a little frustrating. Because of how quickly things advance, and our desire to get the best and the newest, most of us end up waiting for the next generation to drop before we get that new device we’ve been eyeing up.
You can look at solar panels the same way. Research and development efforts have led to panels with higher efficiencies and lower costs, and these improvements don’t show signs of stopping. But while it’s true that waiting a few years may get you slightly more efficient panels, you could be missing out on a lot – especially when it comes to what you’ll pay for installation.
A great way to get an even greater return on your solar energy investment is to take advantage of incentives. Whether from your utility, the state, or the federal government, grants and credits make the initial upfront investment for those looking to go solar easier. Since 2006, one of the most substantial incentives was the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) from the federal government.
The ITC allowed any solar system owner with federal tax liability to recoup 30% of the solar system’s cost. But like so many good things, this incentive is coming to an end. In 2020, that 30% incentive began it’s step back. This year, the federal government offers a 26% credit, but waiting just one year will lose you money.
If you’re asking whether or not you should wait to go solar, the answer is no. Because the ITC steps back from 26% to 10% (for commercial projects) or 0% (for residential projects), each year you wait you could be losing $1000s.