Facilities and buildings have recently experienced a dramatic shift in solar and photovoltaic pricing, allowing renewed consideration of one of the most popular renewable energy options. But could that price drop extend to the homeowner market and act as a catalyst for a true solar surge?
EchoFirst Inc. has published a consumer guide entitled "Five Things Every Homeowner Should Know About Solar in 2013."
The guide seeks to bring homeowners up to date on the state of solar and highlights results of a recent poll in which 17 out of 20 solar installers in 13 U.S. states said solar prices dropped "dramatically" in 2012.
"Solar prices are expected to rise again at some point as the global oversupply of solar panels recedes and new tariffs come into play, so homeowners should take advantage of the lower prices now," says EchoFirst Chief Marketing Officer Gordon Handelsman.
The poll results confirm a recently published study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which found that solar prices fell substantially in 2011 and through the first half of 2012.
In addition to the downward pricing trend, the guide highlights the following:
- Rising grid power prices. In the U.S. the average price of grid power has experienced a steady upward trend since 2003.
- The increasing availability of solar leases. A 2012 study found 70%of new solar installations involved solar leases whereas only 30% were purchased outright.
- The availability of new hybrid solar systems. Residential hybrid solar systems — solar systems that provide both electricity and hot water heating — were once only available in Europe but are now available in the U.S. as well.
- The effects of recent severe weather. Hurricane Sandy may have rendered some U.S. homeowners better candidates for solar.
Have you considered solar as a renewable energy option for your building or facility? Have you considered it as a solution… for your home?