The Real Impact of Solar Tariffs on Residential PV System Costs

U.S. ENACTS TARIFF ON SOLAR PANELS

U.S. residential solar has experienced many fluctuations based on regulations and politics at the state and federal level, so much so that those who’ve been in the industry long enough affectionately refer to it as the “solar coaster.” As a solar installation company with 17 years of experience, SolarTech has weathered many different regulatory changes and endured the utility’s fight to undermine the value of solar. While we try to avoid the political discourse, we do want to properly educate our current and future customers about what these changes mean and how they impact the cost and value of their solar investments.

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WHAT DOES THE 30% SOLAR TARIFF MEAN FOR YOU?

The tariff will increase the cost of imported solar panels by 30%, yet the net impact on the cost of residential solar is actually much less. The total cost of a solar PV system is comprised of many other aspects, including other non-tariff equipment such as inverters and racking, labor costs, sales and marketing costs, and permitting fees. The price of these other components will remain the same (and possibly drop) as the solar panels incur a 30% duty.

While many solar contractors are using this tariff decision as a great opportunity to scare customers and employ some gimmicky marketing tactics, SolarTech has performed a basic cost analysis to measure the impact of the tariffs on the total cost of a residential solar energy system. The net effect is a cost increase of about 6% for a typical installed residential solar energy system.

Solar Cost Breakdown

The analysis below represents system costs for a residential solar energy system with imported solar panels. This data is provided by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (with adjustments for Southern California). Typical system cost increases are only about 6%. To put this in perspective, installing solar will cost about as much as it did at the beginning of 2017, pushing back against the trend of decreasing prices over the past few years.

WITHOUT TARIFF

Total System Cost: $3.00/watt

Solar Panel Cost: $0.50/watt

WITH TARIFF

Total System Cost: $3.17/watt

Solar Panel Cost: $0.65/watt

YOU’RE SAFE WITH SOLARTECH & SUNPOWER

SolarTech provides the best value and best pricing for quality solar products. While other installers are using this big news as an opportunity to charge customers more, we are committed to keeping our costs low with our professional staff and efficient installation process. SunPower has also announced that they will not be raising prices in response to the solar trade tariff. As other manufacturers raise prices, you’ll now be able to get premium SunPower panels at about the same price as some inferior imports.

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2018-02-01T21:42:22+00:00 Industry News, Solar Energy|