As climate change continues to pose a major threat, the U.S. has upped its renewable energy efforts. That means increased incentives to go solar, allowing homeowners to help curb their carbon footprint while saving on electricity bills.
While much of the economy is still in disarray, thanks to the devastating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the renewable energy space is flourishing and is expected to continue to do so. As we take aim at global warming, here are three solar energy trends we can expect to see throughout 2021.
With mounting pressure to curb global warming, states are pushing to implement renewable energy. In fact, more than half of our 50 states have adopted a renewable portfolio standard (RPS). What's an RPS? The U.S. Energy Information Administration sums it up:
"Policies designed to increase the use of renewable energy sources for electricity generation."
As states scramble to meet policy deadlines, several solar incentives have been put in place. Many of those incentives have seen extensions, including one of the biggest draws for homeowners; the federal solar investment tax credit, which allows a solar panel system owner to deduct a whopping 26% of system costs from their federal taxes.
In addition to tax breaks at the federal level, there are numerous state-specific solar incentives, many of which will continue throughout 2021. Pair that with advancements in solar technology and efficient production, and installing a renewable energy system has become an affordable move for the average homeowner. Plus, there's the electricity savings to consider!
New Home Solar Panel Mandates
There's chatter of states adopting solar panel mandates, following California's example. According to QualifiedRemodeler.com, "the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) voted unanimously to confirm a solar panel mandate on new homes in California starting in 2020." This new building code is the first of its kind.
It requires low-rise residential buildings to use solar for new permits dating January 1, 2020, or after.
While there are some exceptions to the new code–like homes that don't get enough sunlight–new single- and multi-family homes that are less than three stories have already been impacted by the new building code.
While California is the first to adopt such a solar mandate, many solar experts believe that other states will follow suit. The mandate may not be as strict as California's, but thanks to global warming, the United States is looking for more ways to incentivize renewable energy adoption, and mandates may be the way to go.
Leveraging Incentives & Tax Credits
While some solar incentives have been extended, including the impressive federal solar investment tax credit, many others are approaching their expiration date. That means that companies and homeowners will likely take notice and scramble to make the switch before their local offers expire.
State-specific solar installation offers can knock hundreds, even thousands of dollars off of going solar, and numerous homeowners have even been able to make the switch for $0 down. While not everyone will be so lucky, the sheer variety of current offers means that many will likely qualify for at least one solar incentive.
Solar installers can expect to see an increase in business in the foreseeable future, with the sharpest increase in business likely being just before the ITC officially expires. As this credit allows solar panel owners to deduct a percentage of system costs from their federal taxes, many who have been contemplating making the solar switch are believed to do so before the ITC disappears.
Learn About Your Solar Options
The solar panel industry is booming. Homeowners want to save, and panels allow them to do just that, and in more ways than one. A renewable energy system may:
- Drastically lower electricity bills
- Add to a home's resale value
- Come with tax credits
- Boost home equity
Making it an incredibly cost-effective move for homeowners. What's an essential thing to keep in mind if you're currently contemplating going solar? Time is of the essence. Local solar incentives make going solar an affordable endeavor for the average homeowner, and state incentives and the ITC are unlikely to be extended. Sustainability goals are incredibly ambitious at the moment, making now the perfect time to opt for solar panels.
Get a few no-obligation solar quotes to see if making the switch to renewable energy is the right move for you!