Of course, like most businesses throughout the nation (and the world), COVID-19 affected the solar industry. As we came out of the pandemic, the solar industry seemed to be coming back strong and very healthy. And it is still growing throughout the country. However, there are challenges facing solar companies that have increased costs and delayed installations. We are all working very diligently to overcome any barriers so that we can maintain the forward momentum of solar.
The issues will come as no surprise.
Like most industries, supply chain issues have affected solar installations. Coupled with inflation, this has affected solar pricing and our ability to get more solar onto roofs. While you may hear about solar panel shortages, there are times when the panels are available, but other components may be lacking. It’s been a persistent problem — something we have never had to deal with at this level before. But the good news is that it seems to be getting better!
In the past, most solar dealers would rarely inventory any components. They would simply order the parts, have them delivered to the job, and install the full solar system. Recently, that model changed. Solar companies now have to determine when they can get inventory and how much they should keep on hand.
And then there’s inflation. Well, it’s been shifting but has not yet gone away. For example, in the fourth quarter of 2021, we saw inflation rate on solar components of about 20%. So, for a full year, that would look like a massive increase. In the first half of 2022, we continued to increase prices. But we’re starting to see some evening out in the costs of solar equipment.
Labor force shortages
We have all heard about the low unemployment rates and the shortage of workers. The solar industry is no different. The problem is that people chose to leave the labor force, to retire, or to change their direction. It has been challenging to replace them. In truth, the solar industry is actually in a very good space to work in — there are great opportunities for those who want a career in an industry that is expanding and available in almost every state.
But it is still a great time to get solar
With inflation and the war in Ukraine, consumers are finding that energy and gas prices have gone up. Utility rates have gone up significantly — the cost of energy has skyrocketed! Across the country, there have been increases in utility rates of up or exceeding 20%. Consumers are hurting. They would greatly benefit from being able to produce their own household energy from rooftop solar. Charging and driving an EV will take the sting out of their transportation cost.
So, in spite of some of the stumbling blocks we’ve been handed, it is still a great time to go solar. With the recently reinstated 30% ITC, additional incentives offered through the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for battery and EVs, along with state incentives, homeowners will find that solar will not only make financial sense now but will do so long into the future. The demand for solar is still climbing.
To find out how much it will benefit your household, contact us today!