News broke on Monday January 22, 2018 that President Trump has decided to increase solar tariffs on imported panels by 30% beginning in February. The decision is the result of a petition filed by solar panel manufacturer Suniva last year asking the ITC to investigate whether increased solar cell and module imports caused serious injury to the U.S. solar manufacturing industry. SolarWorld later joined the petition. Suniva and SolarWorld both filed for bankruptcy last spring. Although neither manufacturer is an American-owned company, they won the case. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said in a statement that it is disappointed in the decision because they claim it will “cost tens of thousands of hard-working, blue-collar Americans their jobs.”
The news isn’t all bad however. Solar Energy World, a Top 500 Solar Energy company headquartered in Maryland with offices in New Jersey, is one of the few solar companies that will not be affected negatively by this decision. In 2017 Solar Energy World increased installations by 23% while other solar companies were decreasing installations. Principals at the company project the growth trend will continue and its solar installations will increase by more 30% this year, despite the tariff news. “The fear of the tariff has actually caused more damage to the industry than the tariff itself,” says Geoff Mirkin, CEO of Solar Energy World. “Our industry will survive. It always does. Our company will not be affected negatively because we knew this would be coming and were prepared”
So why exactly is Solar Energy World seemingly exempt from the negative effects of our President’s decision?
1) Solar Energy World gets its solar products from manufacturers all over the world and is not limited to supplies from the countries affected by the tariffs.
2) While other solar companies may have to increase their pricing due to debt and higher overhead, Solar Energy World has always operated within tight margins and will not have to compensate by jacking up prices.
3) Solar Energy World has strong stable ownership with over 75 combined years of upper management experience.
GTM Research analysis shows that although increased tariffs will slow growth in the Solar industry sector overall, the industry itself will survive. Solar panel pricing in the US will increase temporarily and US installations will drop but installations will trend upward again starting in 2019.
Why Homeowners Should Not Wait to Go Solar
The fact is, there has never been a better time to go solar than right now. Tax credits, rebates and grants are still available to homeowners who wish to purchase a solar system so they can save up to 100% on electricity costs but this will not last forever.
In addition, utility companies across the country have plans to increase electricity rates as they do every year. For those who wish to lock in a lower rate than what their utility offers, Solar PPAs (Power Purchase Agreement) are now available to homeowners that allow them to pay NOTHING for solar panels and installation to lock in a rate for 20 years that is lower than their utility. Homeowners typically pay 20-30% less for their electricity with a PPA.
If you are a homeowner considering going solar, and want to know if your home is solar eligible, you can schedule a complimentary solar evaluation that will include a detailed cost benefit analysis by filling out the form on this page or by calling 866-856-4580.
By Laureen Peck, Vice President of Marketing for Solar Energy World