No Use Crying Over Expired Solar Panel Rebates

We tell all of our customers that NOW is the best time to go solar.  This recommendation isn’t simply to help generate business.

Instead, we’re trying to help our customers take advantage of incentives and special programs that won’t be around forever.

Here’s a perfect example.

In 2006, California introduced a special solar panel rebate for residential installations.  When first launched, these solar rebates were exceedingly generous.  After all, their goal was to help jumpstart a relatively new industry.

Over time, the solar energy rebates were scaled back as more panels went up.  Current residential installations receive about $800 to $1,000.  In total, about $54 million in free money was given out to nearly 18,000 solar arrays.

When the money was exhausted last year, the program received another $5 million infusion.

That money is basically gone now.  There’s only about $200,000 left, and most of this is already tagged for pipelined projects.

The Death of Solar Panel Rebates – a Harsh Lesson in Procrastination

Although we always tell customers to act now, many of them believe that by waiting, they’ll find better deals.  After all, solar panel prices keep falling every year.  The longer you delay, the cheaper your installation, right?


If you missed out on this most recent solar panel rebate, the price of your installation just went up $800 to $1,000.  No matter when you install your panels (in the future), you’ll never be able to take advantage of this free money.

It’s gone.

Worse still, you’ll have paid however many months in extra utility bills during that delay.  And keep in mind that utility rates are constantly on the rise.

In other words, when you decide to delay your solar investment, you must factor in the opportunity cost of waiting.  It’s true that panel prices will go down, but utility prices also go up and solar incentives disappear.  The end result is that you pay more money overall.  And this is also worse for the planet as well.

It’s Never Too Late to Go Solar.  But It’s Never Too Early

Solar rebates are gone.  And they’re not coming back anytime soon.

But their expiration serves as a useful reminder that NOW is the best time to go solar.  There are still other great programs (like net metering and the federal tax incentive) that can help you keep costs down.  But these won’t be around forever.

In addition, utility prices will keep going up.  Just this week, SDG&E proposed adding new flat fees to your monthly electricity bill.

Push these worries behind you and take advantage of clean energy from the sun today.