Why Do Home Solar Panel Costs Keep Falling?

If you live in San Diego, you’re probably no stranger to solar deals and discounts.

Photovoltaic (PV) panel prices keep falling every year – and installers eagerly promote these cheaper prices in their marketing materials.

But how much have panel prices fallen exactly?

Well, from 2006 to 2011, home solar panel costs fell by roughly 80%.  And according to PV Magazine, from Q1 2011 to Q2 2013, they fell by an additional 60%.

That’s pretty incredible when you think about it.

But what’s fueling these major price drops?  Why do home solar panel costs continue to plummet?

Let’s take a look.

Falling Home Solar Panel Costs in San Diego

Honestly, it’s not just San Diego – or even California.  Panel prices continue to fall all over the globe.

But why?

There are a number of reasons.  But 2 of the biggest ones include:

1.  Economies of Scale
Do you remember when DVD players first came out?  They were crazy expensive, weren’t they?

But as the market for these items grew, manufacturers became smarter about their production strategies.  In addition, they also began buying their parts in bulk.

These 2 factors helped to push the price down dramatically.  A DVD player that might cost $500+ in the early 1990s now only costs $50.

The same trend happens in most industries – including solar.  The technology is becoming mainstream, and production is becoming cheaper and cheaper.

2.  Increased International Competition
As solar continues to rise in popularity, the market attracts more competition – especially in China.

Think about it this way.

20 years ago, there were only a handful of solar panel manufacturers.  Now there are thousands.

More competition = lower prices.

Great for the consumer.  And great for the environment.

So If Solar Panel Prices Are Falling, Should You Wait to Install?

You might be asking yourself, “If solar panels continue to fall, doesn’t it make better sense to wait and wait and wait?”

We’ve actually covered this very topic before (click here to read our earlier post).

But put simply – no.  You shouldn’t wait.  And here’s why:

1.  Solar Incentives May Expire
In places like San Diego, you have access to many different solar incentives.  These tax credits, rebates, and net metering programs can help you:

  • lower the upfront cost of your solar installation
  • sell excess electricity back to the utility company (at a profit)

But many of these incentives will eventually expire – or at least undergo major changes.

This means that you may have to pay full price for your installation, rather than receive “free” money from the government.

2.  Rising Utility Prices
In San Diego, utility prices are constantly on the rise (as much as 40% in 2013 alone).

The longer you wait to install your solar panels, the more money you fork over to SDG&E in the meantime.  These higher electricity rates can easily eat away at whatever savings you might enjoy from buying cheaper solar panels in the future.

In other words, now is the best time to go solar.

At Sunline Energy, we’re here to help you begin exploring your options – 100% free of charge.

Just request a no-obligation quote from us today.  And we’ll take care of the rest.