It’s Still a Good Time to Go Solar

By Joel Zook, Energy Planner

These truly are unprecedented times. With the partial shutdown of our economy that is now slowly crawling back, it’s hard to know what the “new normal” will look like. We do know however, that there are good opportunities to invest in our local economy through energy efficiency and renewable energy. Those investments will help create a more robust and resilient economy. Money that we can spend or save here in Winneshiek County can be spent and recycled through the local economy again and again. 

In response to the pandemic, we’ve already seen a tremendous outpouring of support from our community. From people sewing masks and gowns for medical workers, deliveries of food to elderly and immunocompromised households, to curbside takeout orders and pre-purchases of gift cards of temporarily closed businesses. We’ve banded together to get through this, and we will. 

Here’s an Energy District reminder that local solar installers are part of our community too, and are still open for business! If you’ve been considering solar and are able, making that decision and investing now will help keep Winneshiek County strong – just as your support to local businesses on main street has helped them through this tough time.

Many electricians have enacted new  measures to keep their employees and customers safe when doing residential work – others temporarily suspended work in homes altogether. The good thing is that most of the solar work is outside and provides our local electricians a good opportunity to keep working while maintaining the recommended social distancing. All the local contractors I’ve spoken with are still bidding on new solar installs and would be happy with your business. 

If you’ve considered solar in past years or have been curious about how it will work for you – now’s the time to act. Solar prices are far lower than even a few years ago, but costs appear to be leveling out.  Remember too that the federal and state solar tax credits are phasing out. The federal dropped from 30% to 26% this year, will be 22% next year, and zero for residential (10% for business) starting in 2021. The Iowa solar tax credit will equal 50% of the federal, so phases out on the same schedule.

Interest rates are at an all-time low so now is a good time to apply for a solar loan, or consider refinancing your home with the solar rolled into the loan. Homes with a good solar exposure can often save more money through energy savings than the payments (both principal and interest) of a 10-year loan during those first 10 years, and then provide nearly-free power for another 10 or more!.

Make an investment in your home or business and in our local economy. Check out our list of supporting solar installers or ask your electrician about going solar today.

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