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Cost of Solar Keeps Dropping

While the benefits of installing solar panels are numerous and significant (such as combating greenhouse gas emissions and reducing our dependence on fossil fuel), the cost of solar installation has always been a concern for those looking to embrace solar energy.

However, as it turns out, those costs have been steadily dropping thanks to trends in the industry including more, lower cost solar panels, efficient installation, government incentives, referral marketing, and even greater competition.

Declining cost of solar panels with higher wattage

Advances in the efficiency of the solar panels themselves have helped drive down installation costs. Higher wattage solar panels have helped place more wattage in a smaller footprint. While wattage increases the mounting hardware and labor cost in that same footprint has stayed relatively flat. While efficiency and higher wattage have helped it has not helped as much as scale. The amount of solar being installed in the Top 10 solar power states has increased manufacturing output driving down the cost of solar panels by 80% since 2008.

More efficient installation

Relying solely on the cost of solar panels to drop is no longer an option. At Vinyasun we have also turned to the installation process to further drive down cost to complete installations more efficiently. Our proprietary installation process uses 30% less mounting hardware, while at the same time increases the module strength without sacrificing wind hardening or waterproofing - a common area where some installers tend to apply less effort. The resultant savings are passed on to the customer in the form of lower cost energy.

Government incentives

Government agencies, municipalities, and utilities in the past have appealed to consumers through the use of tax credits, rebates and other incentives to support energy efficiency, encourage the use of renewable energy sources, and support efforts to conserve energy and lessen pollution. Since the cost of solar has continued to fall, governments have looked for ways to reduce subsidies that come from general revenue or utility bills and focus more on the tax code. Florida voters recently approved an amendment to eliminate the property taxes charged to commercial and leased solar panels. The removal of this tax already exists for systems owned by homeowners. Combined with no sales tax (6-7%), fair retail net-metering, a rising electric rate environment, and the right for every homeowner to install solar without conflict from their homeowner's association, Florida solar is looking pretty good.

Referral Marketing

Smart solar companies are focusing more on their customer that on those who are not their customer. Turning solar into a word of mouth business is the fastest and best way lower the cost of solar for all customers. At Vinyasun we rely on our customers to provide word-of-mouth, proof of concept and social proof and reward them by helping them lower their cost of solar.

Greater competition is welcome

The growing number of solar companies is good news for you. With a more populated supply marketplace, companies are forced to up their game to win customers. This means customers should not only be taking advantages of lower cost energy but also included maintenance, performance guarantees, and monitoring. With this type of environment, consumers are able to take advantage of opportunities for cost savings with quality companies.

At Vinyasun, we have removed the hefty upfront out-of-pocket costs typically associated with installation. Our customers pay $0 down and start saving the day their solar energy system is turned on. In addition to this, maintenance is free for the life of the system.

In terms of monthly fees, we lock in your payment, which means your solar energy rates never go up, ever. You have the security that comes with predictable energy payments you can rely on for the next 20 years.

By removing the upfront cost hurdle, maintenance worries and the potential for fluctuations in solar energy rates, residential consumers can now adopt a sunny disposition every day with rooftop solar panels for their home from Vinyasun. At the end of the day, going solar for your home costs less than paying for dirty energy generated by fossil fuel that your utility is selling you every month.

Want to learn more about going solar? Contact Vinyasun to request a free home solar energy quote.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can FPL or my HOA prevent me from switching to solar?

The Florida Solar Rights Act is a law that forbids any entity—including homeowner associations—from prohibiting the installation of solar or other renewable energy devices on Florida buildings.

An association may require approval of a system installation and may establish restrictions for installations. However, any such restrictions must be reasonable, not arbitrary, and applied in a uniform manner for all association members. Also, any restrictions must not have the effect of impairing the performance, or increasing the cost, of a solar system.

In particular, a homeowner association may not prevent the installation of solar collectors on the roof of a home. The association may determine where on the roof the collectors may be installed, so long as the collectors face within 45 degrees of due south.

Finally, any requirement(s) that a system be screened from view by trees, fences, ground mounting racks, or a remote roof location that is hidden from the street, will generally violate the statute.

Click here to verify information is provided by the Florida Solar Energy Industry Association

Is solar free for Florida homeowners?
  • The sun is free to everyone.
  • Solar panels and specific back-up battery systems qualify for a number of rebates, tax credits and incentives.
  • There is a cost associated with solar energy because you are paying for your system. 
  • Financing enables homeowners to make the transition with $0 upfront costs
  • Systems often cost the same amount monthly as your current FPL bill
  • Solar puts equity in your home because you own the system and increases the value a minimum of 4.1% - click here for the Zillow case study

Does solar increase my home value?

Not only can adding solar panels to a home save energy costs and help the environment, it also can potentially increase a home’s value. In 2019 Zillow found that homes with solar energy systems sold for 4.1% more on average than comparable homes without solar power. For the median-valued home, that translates to an additional $9,274.

The sale premium varies substantially by market. In Riverside, Calif., for example, homes with solar-energy systems sold for 2.7% more than comparable homes without solar power—a markup of $9,926 for the median-valued home in the metro. In the greater New York City metro, solar-powered homes have a premium that is double that of Riverside. At 5.4%, that’s an extra $23,989 in value for the typical home in New York. In three other coastal metro areas—Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando, Fla.—homes with solar power can fetch a premium of around 4%.

Sun travels 91 million miles to power your home-1

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