Yardley Voice/Newtown Gazette – Another springtime is here encouraging homeowners to start planning their upgrades and improvements. In Pennsylvania, there are reasons to think big in 2018 and consider a solar energy system. Contrary to the opinion of some alarmists, system costs are stable and homeowner savings opportunities are predicted to grow.
Overall solar materials costs continue to remain at record lows. Because most panel manufacturers were prepared for possible policy changes like the increased solar panel tariffs, the impact should only be a slowing of the pricing drops seen in the past few years. And local solar installers like Exact Solar steadily streamline the installation process to offset other costs and deliver more savings to customers, too.
The largest single savings opportunity remains intact for 2018. The 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) puts many thousands of dollars in your pocket in direct federal tax savings, over one or two years. It isn’t a deduction. It’s a full credit towards taxes you owe. And the credit decreases between now and 2021, where it is set at 10%.
Pennsylvania specific savings will improve. Late in 2017, the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act was amended which is intended to improve significantly the value of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). By placing a restriction to make only solar energy systems within the state borders eligible, some predict the Pennsylvania SREC value may more than double soon. The result will be more income placed into Pennsylvania solar customer pockets and greater support for local Pennsylvania solar development. Local development in 2017 sustained nearly 4,000 people in well-paying solar energy jobs. That was a 20% boost from the prior year.
Beyond the local economic effects, each solar installation reduces the need for more pipelines through our region, and reduces the pollution that has our region’s air quality consistently ranked as close to the worst in the country. Think about solar this spring. And think about staying local with your choices.