solar installation

15 Apr Is Solar Energy a Smart Financial Investment During the Pandemic?

solar installationThe coronavirus pandemic has caused stock prices to become volatile and unpredictable. Many families are wondering how to invest their money. In fact, now is an excellent time to invest in a solar energy system. Unlike the stock market, it is a highly stable investment with reliable returns.

The cost of a solar panel system has dropped 70% in the last decade, and the industry has experienced rapid growth as a result. Going solar in 2020 is a wise investment for many home and business owners.


How do utility rates impact my solar power investment?

There are two major variables in determining the return on investment of your solar system: the solar energy system’s net cost and the price of electricity from Emera or CMP. As power rates increase across Maine, solar electricity is increasingly even more economical than grid power.

CMP and Emera raised rates for most customers in 2018 and 2019. These electricity rate hikes impact many homes and businesses throughout Southern, Central, Midcoast, and Northern Maine.  

Installing a solar system minimizes the impact of these rate increases by using solar power instead of grid electricity. In fact, the higher the cost of grid electricity, the faster the solar panels pay for themselves in savings, and the higher the return on investment.

Do warranties protect my solar energy investment?

Yes, unlike the stock market, the solar systems we install come with excellent warranties. In fact, some of the solar panels we use can have power performance guarantees for 25 years! In addition, other components we use, such as inverters and power optimizers, also have warranties. 

With no moving parts and virtually no required maintenance, solar energy systems are very reliable and durable. At Sundog Solar, we are dedicated to installing quality solar energy equipment that produces clean energy for decades. As a result, we use the most reliable equipment on the market. Our ten years of solar installation experience in Maine has taught us which solar equipment stands the test of time. As a locally-owned company dedicated to excellent customer service, we stand behind our warranties.


Are there federal tax credits available for solar energy?

Through the end of 2020, there is a 26% federal tax credit available for residential and commercial solar energy systems. This will taper down to 22% for solar energy installations in 2021. A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in federal income taxes owed and is more valuable to the taxpayer than a write-off. For example, a $15,000 solar panel system can qualify for a $3,900 tax credit. 

This incentive boosts the return on investment of the solar system. Unfortunately, the tax credit will be worth only 22% for systems installed in 2021, so now is a great time to go solar!


Do solar panels increase my property value?

A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, “Selling into the sun: Price premium analysis of a multi-state dataset of solar homes,“ found that solar homes sell for far more than homes without solar energy systems. Homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for homes with solar PV systems because they are cheaper to operate. On average, solar houses sell for $3 more per watt of installed solar energy capacity. Therefore, a home with a 5,000 w (5 kW) system would sell for roughly $15,000 more than a comparable home without solar energy.


When is solar not a wise financial investment?

Unfortunately, not all properties are ideally suited for solar panels. If trees significantly shade a roof, we might not recommend going solar. It is most important to have a window of mid-day sun. Thus, some shade in the early morning or late afternoon is less detrimental than midday shading. 

The Sundog Solar team can also install power optimizers on your system that reduce production losses from shading. We can locate solar panels on a garage or a ground mount. Our solar design team is skilled in determining your property’s solar potential and the estimated solar production taking shading into account. We give honest feedback to solar shoppers. Our team doesn’t recommend installing a solar energy system when there is an adequate solar resource. 

Want to find out how much you can save with solar energy? Contact the Solar Plus team today for a free consultation! 


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