News: Tax on Panel Imports Could Raise Prices by This Winter 

If two manufactures get their way, solar will become more expensive soon. Last week Suniva and SolarWorld convinced the U.S. International Trade Commission that imported solar panels hurt their business, asking for a tariff and price minimum. The commission will have to met again before November to consider options before President Trump makes a decision.

Right now, due to technology advancements and heavy incentives, going solar in New York City or New Jersey so much cheaper than remaining 100% grid supplied; I do not foresee the proposed tariff making solar unaffordable in these areas. President Trump won election by promising to protect manufacturing jobs and overall has been critical of solar, so homeowners and businesses should get solar now, while prices are low.

A tax on solar imports would be bad for America’s workers and the environment. Installing solar panels involves much more labor (two workers, one full day per house), than manufacturing. Some people are willing to pay more money for American made solar panels, however, most want the cheapest reliable option so a price increase will hurt demand.

Getting solar panels sends a clear message in the neighborhood and towards Washington as all nations and peoples must work together to create a cleaner environment.

 

The World is Getting Cheaper and Cleaner Energy; Make Sure You Don’t Miss Out

Paris in Green
City Hall in Paris, France are lit in green symbolizing the national commitment to the goals set in 2015.

The world is not going to react in this time the same way it did the last time a U.S. President backed out of an international climate agreement. The economics of renewable energy were not favorable in 2001 when the Kyoto Protocol began to unravel, however, they are today.  The cost of solar panel systems is now cheaper than the continued use traditional electricity  sources, with or without tax incentives.

Rooftop solar in particular is affordable because power is generated at the place it is used, instead of having to travel through an aging and expensive grid. In rural developing countries, it is a much more practical solution than installing hundreds of miles of wires. Meanwhile fossil fuels have become much harder to harvest as the easy to access reservoirs have been depleted.

Renewable energy options for New York homeowners are as robust as ever and most require zero out of pocket while still providing savings anywhere between 25-75%. Cumulatively this is enough to fund a college education. As the cost of living continues to increase it is important to remain fiscally competitive and to remember that the rest of the world will be using renewable energy to their advantage.

Contact us to have a representative explain how renewable energy  can help your family!

Get a Solar Consultation BEFORE Fixing Your Roof! 

“I have to fix my roof first!” a man yelled at me and closed the door; he will spend twice as much to get the necessary work completed than he would if he had taken a few minutes to listen to the right consultant. While he procrastinates, he will be paying unnecessarily high Con Edison bills and inflated property taxes; if he waits too long he will miss the solar incentives that chop about 70% off the cost of panels. The panels his neighbors are getting do more than just generate electricity, they also provide protection from winds much stronger than those of Superstorm Sandy.

(Note: This post is for informational purposes only and incentive details must be reviewed with a solar consultant before signing).

30% for your roof from Uncle Sam: The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit  reduces tax obligations by 30% of the necessary cost of going solar. For example if a new roof plus solar array cost $40,000 your tax bill will be reduced by $12,000. If you have $1,000 a month withheld from your paycheck and otherwise would neither owe nor get a refund at the end of the year, you would get a $12,000 refund check.

20% for your roof from Big Apple City: The NYC Solar Panel Tax Abatement reduces property taxes. Using the same example where the roof plus solar array cost $40,000 your property tax bill will be reduced by $2,000 a year for four years. $8,000 total.

The New York State tax credit is capped at $5,000 so for most homes it will reduce the cost of panels but not roof repairs.

A solar consultant will speak with you and then prepare zero down loan documents and you will own your energy production and a solid roof.

 

Energy Star Labels Woefully Inaccurate For NYC…Here’s How to Estimate Instead

Reducing energy consumption is a critical step that we all can take, to improve the environment while saving money and New Yorkers need to be given the information needed to make the best decisions. In the past few decades, household appliances have become much more efficient, so the decision to replace old but functional products might have a significant positive benefit.

T.V. Energy Star
For the large screen television, average annual energy costs is listed as $22.
Air Conditioner in PC Richards
The large print on the Energy Star sticker proclaims an annual energy cost of $90 for average use of this air conditioner.

While shopping for new appliances, two price labels are very important to consider. The first is provided by the retailer and states how much it will cost to buy the product. The second label is yellow in all stores as the information is certified by the federal government funded Energy Star program. This information is intended to display the operational costs of the product.

Energy Star Sticker T.V.
The Energy Star label on a similar T.V. uses the same energy costs rate to estimate operational costs.
20170517_164619
The energy star label for the same air conditioner uses a cost of energy rating that is less than half of what Con Edison charges, in its estimate.

New York City has a high cost of living compared to most of the United States, and electricity is no exception. Most of the city is served by Con Edison with rates for residential customers typically ranging from $.25-.30/kWh (twenty-five to thirty  cents per kilowatt hour) more than double rate Energy Star uses to calculate.

20170518_171458
In the example Con Edison charges almost 2.5 times what Energy Star estimates!
Con Ed bill example
Example bill. One floor of a brownstone building in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn

In most of New York City the air conditioner pictured actually costs over $200/year to operate it for the same number of hours that Energy Star estimated would cost $90/year. In less than two summers somebody using the air conditioner in the city will have spent more on for the energy than they did to acquire the product. 

New Yorkers should look at their Con Edison bill take the price and divide by the kilowatt hours to determine their appropriate rate. They can then multiple that number by 100 and divide by twelve to see what they should multiply the bold printed energy price on the yellow sticker. 

A simpler estimate can be found by for New York City consumers by multiplying the bold energy price by 2.5 (two and a half). If a consumer knows they will use the product a lot more or less than the hours per year estimated on the label they will need to consider that as well. 

Please contact us for any additional questions on the savings reasonably achievable, while upgrading appliances.