…to go Solaflect, that is. Why?
- Your utility will keep sending you an electric bill, and will expect you to pay it. The sooner you go solar, the sooner you reduce or zero out that bill.
- If going solar means borrowing from a credit union or bank to do so, interest rates are uncommonly low. Will they still be this low next year?
- The Federal 30% tax credit for residential solar is set to expire at the end of 2016. To qualify, your Tracker needs to be installed and operational by that time. It’s a very good bet that next year is going to be a madhouse in the solar industry as people rush to beat the deadline. Many of those who try to sign up are going to be too late–there are only so many Trackers our experienced installation team can install in a finite amount of time. If you sign up now, you can sleep easy knowing you didn’t miss out on $5,760 (or thereabouts) worth of Federal tax credit per Tracker. (As a reminder, tax credits are different from deductions. Tax credits have full face value. They are like checks from the government that pay your taxes for you.)
- Vermont law requires each utility to accept new net metering connections, until the total capacity of all those connections adds up to equivalent of 15% of the utility’s peak demand. New Hampshire has a similar law with a different threshold. Several utilities have now reached their thresholds and have stopped allowing new solar connections. Green Mountain Power has reached approximately the 9% mark, and is moving toward 15% rapidly. At the current rate, they will reach that 15% threshold roughly at the end of this year (2015). We do not know if new connections will be allowed after that in GMP territory, without changes to the law.
- Vermont solar customers, including those with Green Mountain Power, receive bonus net metering credit called the solar adder. Those who went solar in 2014 locked in an adder of 6 cents/kWh for 10 years. Those who are going solar this year (2015) are locking in either 5.3 cents/kWh or 4.3 cents/kWh, depending on the size of the array. Those who waited from 2014 to 2015 lost out on between about $400 to $900 worth of solar adder, per Tracker, depending on location and circumstances. We don’t know of plans to reduce the solar adder further for those who go solar in 2016, but it is a definite possibility.
- The level of CO2 in the atmosphere prior to the industrial revolution was 280 ppm. The widely accepted absolute maximum level compatible with avoiding catastrophic global warming is 350 ppm, and almost certainly should be lower. Currently, the level is at 400 ppm. And growing. At some point, global warming will trigger uncontrolled feedbacks that make the situation far worse, such as the melting of permafrost that releases huge volumes of trapped methane. This trend cannot be reversed without all hands on deck, sooner rather than later.