The installed solar energy capacity in the United States is larger than ever, and many important influences are guiding the projection of the industry. For the average American household, the decision to go solar is affected by three key industry trends:
Nationwide growth and opportunity
And local legislation
Alongside federal and state policies, the continued growth of the solar industry has helped the technology become much more accessible for homeowners to adopt. In 2019, there were an estimated 10,000 U.S. companies involved in the solar industry, making it easy for people all across the country to install arrays of their own.
With increasing availability, the international growth of PV solar has helped decrease overall costs for homeowners. In fact, until recently, the average cost of solar had lowered every year since 2014, when data was first collected by the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie.
In 2021, the cost of solar grew slightly for average American homeowners, in part due to supply constraints, bottlenecks, and policy uncertainty. And yet, nationwide installations still increased by 19% year over year.
Learn more about the growth of the solar energy industry (and what it’s like to work at Apollo Energy).
While dispersed power generation increases nationally, the growing solar energy industry continues to experience consolidation and volatility amongst its largest players. Not unlike other quickly establishing industries, solar is full of partnerships, acquisitions, and surprising companies going out of business.
In recent years Vivint sold to Sunrun, Sunpower acquired Blue Raven, and dozens of other solar companies have modified their business models, changed ownership, or folded completely. As a homeowner, this can make it hard to predict your customer experience for the multi-decade lifespan of your solar panels.
With so much at stake, large well-known brands may be more volatile or likely to deliver a bad overall experience when small changes in supply chain or profitability affect a company at scale. Knowing this, homeowners should seek out local experts with long-term plans to ensure a high-quality solar installation.
In fact, local solar installers, also known as “long tail” companies, have seen more growth and success on average over national brands. As a small solar company, our reputation is on the line, which is why we grow our business one high-quality customer experience at a time.
Federal & State Incentives, Policies, and Legislation
Finally, there are many federal and state policies and programs affecting the solar industry that can dramatically impact a homeowner's decision to go solar. While influences can be enforced down to the municipal and HOA levels, here are three key considerations for any residential solar system.
The Federal Investment Tax Credit: By and large, the most important policy affecting residential solar is the federal investment tax credit, which credits homeowners 26% of their total installation costs. In 2023, the ITC is slated to drop to 22% of system costs before total elimination in 2024 if the incentive is not extended.
Net Metering Policies: Controlled at the state level, various net metering policies are being instated and updated around the country. While plenty of areas still maintain great net metering rates, states like Florida have dialed back their legislation. Thankfully current FL solar owners will be grandfathered into previous net metering rates.
Green Energy Requirements: In states like California (and hopefully more soon), solar energy may even be a requirement for residential construction. Since it went into action in 2020, the California Solar Mandate has helped continue the growth of PV capacity state-wide.
With industry growth, lowered adoption costs, and disappearing tax incentives, homeowners must act fast to reap all of the benefits of residential solar that are still currently available.
While choosing the right solar company can be daunting, high-level industry consolidation and the continued success of small local providers make it easy to choose an experienced expert over a large, national brand.
Headquartered In Denver, Colorado, Apollo Energy is a locally owned and operated B Corporation, offering free solar assessments for Colorado and Southern Wyoming residents and business owners.
Contact our solar company today for more information or a free consultation.