February 23, 2018

New Solar Tariff’s Impact on Solar Energy Prices

Solar Tariff Fact SheetIn January 2018, the Trump Administration imposed a 30% tariff on solar imports to the U.S.

According to details released by the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, the tariff will last for four years and will fall by 5% annually, dropping to a 15% tariff by 2021.

Based on research completed by GEM Energy’s solar experts, the conclusion is that this tariff will have minimal impact on the level of cost savings provided by a solar installation. While the added protectionism tariff will increase the initial cost to the end customer, the overall savings achieved with solar energy over traditional utilities far exceeds the minimal additional cost, and allows customers to pay a lower electricity rate for decades after the tariff has expired.

GEM Energy’s Solar Tariff Fact Sheet provides an overview of the impact of the tariffs on the economic viability of solar energy for businesses, as well as an overview of available funding options for solar arrays, including options with no out-of-pocket costs.

Interestingly, advances in solar manufacturing have been driving down the cost of solar panels overall, and some experts believe the tariff will actually provide an incentive to lower prices even further.

The tariff imposes a 30% tax on imported panels in year one, and shrinks each year thereafter. Therefore, its actual impact on prices will shrink each year as the price of imported solar panels continues to fall.

The good news is, with or without tariffs, solar makes powerful economic sense. A well-engineered solar installation provides substantial savings on electricity costs compared to utility-generated power, enabling users to pay a lower electricity rate for the long lifetimes of these systems—25 years or more.

Plus, a variety of financing options are available, including those with no up-front or out-of-pocket costs. The self-funding option takes advantage of the new 2018 tax law, which allows companies to write off 100% of the capital costs of the capital costs of a solar power installation in the first year.

Download the Solar Tariff Fact Sheet for more details, and to talk with an on-site energy solution expert, contact: 866.720.2700 or onsitepower@gogemenergy.com.

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