Wednesday, January 4, 2012

As it Turns Out, Solar is Not Expensive Afterall...

I meet people on a daily basis who seem very confident with saying "I would love to go solar, but it's just too expensive. Maybe we can meet again when the prices come down a little bit."

This might be news for everyone, but the days where solar was unaffordable are now a distant memory. In fact, I receive emails daily from companies selling their solar panels for less than $1.00 a watt, nearly a 50% reduction over 2009 prices.

Can you think of any product on the market that's seen a 50% reduction in price over the last two years? Hmm... let's see:

Cars?   Nope
Food?   Not even close
Utility energy prices?   A joke (of course)
Let's play a new game: can we name anything that's decreased in price at all?

Truthfully, I understand why many people may still think going solar is expensive. The reality is the prices have dropped so quickly that it takes time for someone to adjust their line of thinking, especially if they're not in the industry. This industry moves so fast that it even takes a few hours to catch up each week on an ongoing basis if you truly want to be educated and informed on industry goings on.

Still think solar is expensive? Don't take my word for it, check out this graph pictured above from Paula Mints, a solar energy analyst, which depicts the dollar per watt price of panels over the last few decades. Believe it or not, this was produced in May of 2011 and the prices have even come down more since while energy prices continue to increase in California at alarming rates.

So if the prices are still coming down each month, maybe I should wait to get a better deal? Sure, that's a sensible way to think, except for the fact we're still on the hook for our utility costs, which are rising steadily year after year. So when you really think about it, waiting a year for panel costs to come down another $1,000 while paying $3,600 in utility costs may not be such a great trade off. The time to go solar is now. When you're at the hardware store and you notice they're having a 60% off sale and that table saw you've always wanted it starring you in the face, do you say to yourself "maybe I should wait, there may be a 70% off sale next week"? No way, you grab it and feel proud with your decision to move forward.

Is your electric bill over $150 a month? Here's what you should do: Get a quote from a local solar installer. It's free, it's educational and it may just change the way you think about solar energy. At the very least, it'll give you a chance to see for yourself if solar is right for you or not and open up your perspective while learning more about the fastest growing industry in America.

What have you got to lose other than your electric bill?

Pey Shadzi
Operations Manager at Cosmic Solar

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