Installing solar for most homes and businesses in Ohio is always better than wasting money renting energy from utility companies. However, 2020 is absolutely the best time to install solar on a home or business and take advantage of the full twenty-six percent (26%) Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and grid interconnection, known as net metering. The current incentives in place will not last forever and are in fact scheduled to go away over the next twelve to twenty-four months. Many home and business owners wonder if waiting will be smart for their properties because the costs of solar panels and related equipment have gone down over the past two decades. This is a fair question and one that would have been tough to answer ten years ago, when efficiency gains in technology and economies of scale in production was making going solar rapidly more affordable. Looking at today’s solar market, it is clear that demand is still sky high for solar both for homeowners, business owners, and utilities. Meanwhile, the industry has scaled up such that significant price drops are no longer happening year to year. With incentives going away and new obstacles such as tariffs having been introduced, the solar industry, especially in the US, is actually seeing price increases.
There is no such thing as a “risk-free” investment. Tomorrow the world could wake up to a miraculous energy breakthrough that would put current forms of energy production obsolete. But even in a world like this, it would take decades to change the grid over to this hypothetical set up. Home and business owners have to assess what the risks are not only of taking the action of purchasing solar but of inaction as well. The cost of waiting, continuing to make payments and seeing absolutely zero return, means that home and business owners are making the decision to stay at the mercy of continuous price increases with no end in sight. Going solar, even if technology makes a substantial leap, is the only way to mitigate risk against never-ending utility rate increases. So when answering the question “why now?”, the only true answer is that home and business owners can not afford to wait.