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Rising Photo voltaic Power Market Yields Alternatives for Contractors – jj
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Rising Photo voltaic Power Market Yields Alternatives for Contractors

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Solar power production continues to be a growing industry
throughout New England, as more homes, municipal buildings and businesses
choose to utilize this type of clean energy.  While the Northeast region may seem like one
of those places that is lacking in sunlight, there is actually quite a bit of
untapped solar potential in our part of the country.

There are a number of reasons homeowners and business owners
would want to invest in solar panels for their homes and companies. For
example, they may be interested in reducing their monthly electric bills or
interested in making a positive
contribution to the environment and creating local jobs within their community.

And although the initial outlay for solar panels is often
considered steep (these costs actually continue to decrease year over year),
the panels eventually may pay for themselves and then may significantly lower
the cost of utility bills year after year.

Solar Energy Savings
& Credits

Additionally, there are often federal and
state cost savings. The federal solar tax credit, also known as the investment tax
credit (ITC), allows homeowners and business owners to deduct 30 percent of the
cost of installing a solar energy system from their federal taxes. The ITC applies
to both residential and commercial systems, and there is no cap on its value. The
U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy also offers a fact sheet
with more details on the
ITC
. The Most Northeastern states also have net metering
laws in effect, which is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system
owners for the electricity they add to the grid.

As a solar power contractor, part of your job requires
getting buyers to understand this value. Helping this cause, many solar power
contractors believe that the aesthetics of panels has continued to improve over
the last few years, with black, low-profile mounting systems. Experts also note
that solar panels are sleeker, thinner, and more efficient than they were only
three years ago, which purchasers should appreciate.

Two studies also further demonstrate how the growing solar
market may positively impact home values and the possibility of additional
business, especially in the Northeast. The U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and
Renewable Energy reported
that that many homebuyers view solar panels as upgrades, similar to a renovated
kitchen or a finished basement and were willing to pay roughly $15,000 more for
a house that included an average-size system.

A 2017 study by Redfin
and Sun Number found which U.S. cities have the most untapped solar potential
in the Northeast region and the average increase in selling price for those
homes that have solar power. The study listed the top 10 U.S. cities in our
region with a Sun Number, which indicates the solar potential of rooftops,
above 70 (the scale goes from 1 to 100). The increase in median home price with
solar panels ranged from $29,000 to $189,000. Here they are:

1. Providence, RI  – Average Sun Number: 79

2. Rochester, NY – Average
Sun Number: 80

3. Syracuse, NY – Average
Sun Number: 84

4. Worcester, MA – Average
Sun Number: 82

5. Buffalo, NY – Average
Sun Number: 83

6. Boston, MA – Average
Sun Number: 71

7. Newark, NJ – Average
Sun Number: 76

8. Augusta, ME – Average
Sun Number: 75

9. Albany, NY – Average
Sun Number: 81

10. Concord, NH – Average
Sun Number: 72

Protection for Solar
Power Contractors

With so much potential in the market, solar power
contractors can significantly grow their businesses in 2019. As a contractor, you’ll
also want to ensure that your insurance is keeping up with the “green”
industry, so you aren’t opening yourself up to greater and potentially uncovered
exposures.

For example, if you are the contractor you want to be covered
for an entire project, including the loss of income as the project owner. You’ll
also want to make sure that the transportation of materials to the job is
covered as well as ensuring that there is coverage for materials that need to
be temporarily stored off-site prior to installation.

You should consider Inland Marine insurance that offers
specialized coverages and risk strategies for those whose work involves the
installation or operation of solar panel equipment. You will want to work with your
agent who has the resources and dedicated technical staff to address the specialized
needs of local solar contractors.

During the quoting process, the more information an
insurance provider has about your operations, the better job we can do.  Your agent can help you craft the appropriate renewable
energy coverage, and we can identify the potential safety programs best suited
for your company. Start working with an Acadia Agent
today.

Acadia is
pleased to share this material for the benefit of its customers.  Please note, however, that nothing herein
should be construed as either legal advice or the provision of professional
consulting services.  This material is
for informational purposes only, and while reasonable care has been utilized in
compiling this information, no warranty or representation is made as to
accuracy or completeness.

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