Dear Homeowners Considering Solar,
I know you see the recession clouds forming, and dispersing, and forming again. So do I. It’s ominous, and the uncertainty is not very fun. Interest rates are rising, inflation is high, and the prospect of asset prices declining is real. Many of us who might have considered selling our home and buying a new one are holding pat for the foreseeable future.
So what does any of this have to do with solar energy?
Well, there is a profound paradox in front of us that is hard to untangle.
On the one hand, nobody wants to outlay tens of thousands of dollars on anything right now.
On the other hand, solar energy is literally the best investment you can make at this moment and the most likely to steady your finances through uncertain times.
Hear me out. This is my argument in 5 easy steps.
- The cost of gasoline in 1993 was $1.11/gallon. Today the average cost is nearly $4/gallon. Knowing that, if you could have purchased 30 years of gasoline in 1993, would you have done it? The same concept applies to solar. If you could lock in today’s utility rates for 30 years, would you do it? The difference between these two examples is that in the first, you can’t actually store 30 years of gasoline in your basement, but you can surely store 30 years of electricity on your rooftop.
- The stock market is wildly volatile, and solar is not. If you’re a good investor, you probably make a habit of not looking at your investments more than necessary. The fluctuations in price and value vary wildly from day to day and even month to month. But with solar, you don’t need to worry about looking at your returns because as long as the sun rises every day, you’re getting the same exact return for 30 years. In fact, our solar professionals can model out every single penny of savings down for all 30 years with astonishing accuracy. Solar is quite literally an untaxed stock market return with no volatility.
- Going solar adds 4.1% to your home value, according to a nationwide Zillow survey of homes that were actually bought and sold in the United States after going solar. The median home value in the United States of $428,700 (as of this writing), which means you could add $17,576.70 to your home value by going solar. Want to know the funny part? The average cost of going solar right now after tax credits and incentives is about $18,000. No joke. You could literally increase the value of your home by the same exact amount as the cost of a solar system – which means you have free electricity from Day 1.
- Remember the price of gasoline in 1993? What if you could return to that tomorrow. A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that the cost of driving an electric vehicle on solar panels is about $415 per year, compared to $1,260 per year for a gasoline-powered car. That’s right, less than a third of the cost. That means that by installing solar, you could actually fuel your transportation for the same amount you would have spent 30 years ago, relative to what you are paying today for a gas-powered vehicle.
- Have you noticed that I haven’t even mentioned helping the environment yet? Everything is about your bottom line because we believe that solar should be able to justify its cost with tangible benefits for everyone with a roof over their heads. The fact is that if you have unobstructed roof space with the sun shining on it, and it’s not covered with a solar panel, you are throwing money out the window. Will going solar also be a gateway to future energy storage resilience for your home? Absolutely. Will it help wean America off foreign sources of energy? Yes. Will its ubiquity pave the way for sustainable sources of domestic energy that could stave off catastrophic climate change? Yup. But beyond any and all of that, it’s still an investment as good as anything in your portfolio, and that matters too.
You should go solar. Not necessarily because of some story about politics or the environment. Not because of peer pressure. Not because someone knocked on your door and not because your neighbor did it first. You should go solar because it’s the best hedge against inflation on the market, the added home value is nearly the cost of the system itself, and it’s probably the safest bet you’re ever going to find.
If it happens to save the planet and stick it to the world’s autocrats, consider that gravy.