The Inflation Reduction Act and HOW it impacts the solar industry.

Our warehouse on rte 60 in Tampa….

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that was passed in August of 2022 is a gamechanger for the solar industry across the United States, and beneficial for our economy as a whole. 

The IRA will spur the growth of rooftop solar just as electric utilities across the United States are forced to increase prices over the next 5 years. 

The price Americans pay per kilowatt of utility electricity is closely tied to global natural gas price fluctuations, and indirectly connected to global oil prices. 

As of 2021 39% of the electricity in the United States was generated from natural gas turbines. 

These turbines can be quickly adjusted to meet variations in demand across the power grid, and combined with the lower price of natural gas over the last 20 years, natural gas has been a clear winner for utility shareholders and their customers as well. 

In 2021 the United States produced 934 billion cubic meters (BCM) of natural gas, the highest producer of natural gas in the world, and 88% of that production was used domestically. 

The second highest producer of natural gas in 2021 was Russia, with 701 BCM produced. Russia was the 2nd highest producer, yet the largest global exporter of natural gas. Germany, for instance, is highly reliant on natural gas exported directly from Russia. 

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022 disrupted the peacetime trade in natural gas, which has caused an increase in natural gas prices globally since February. 

In 2021 global natural gas consumption grew by 3.3%, making 2021 a record year for natural gas consumption, at 4,103 BCM used globally. 

One way that electric utilities can hedge against volatility in natural gas prices is to install large solar farms within their utility footprint. TECO currently has 6.4 million solar panels in 15 huge solar farms across Pasco, Hillsborough and Polk Counties. Florida Power & Light has a “30 million panels by 2030” plan that will build out the power grid in South Florida and transition our state away from fossil fuels.  

Only 10% of rooftop solar installs in Florida are on individual homes, the other 90% is represented by these large grid-scale solar farms installed by the electric utilities. 

The price of the build out for these large utility scale solar farms is being passed on to FPL and TECO customers in the form of rate hikes.

TECO customers experienced an 18% rate hike in 2021.  

In essence, these electric companies in Florida and across the United States are installing hundreds of thousands of panels and using money from their client base to fund their long term expansion. Once the utility pays off the cost of these solar farms will they pass on the savings to their consumers? 

This is highly unlikely. 

The only way the average homeowner can realistically reduce their electricity costs long term is to either reduce consumption to zero or install solar on their property.  

Here at Tampa Bay Solar we have installed over 1,000 systems, from large ground mounted solar arrays with extensive off-grid battery back-ups on farms in Brooksville to grid-tied solar arrays on rooftops in Riverview. 

Economic Benefits of Solar

In August of 2022 the Inflation Reduction Act extended the 30% federal tax credit for solar on residential and commercial buildings. The IRA also made the 30% tax credit retroactive to all solar installs completed in 2022. 

The 30% tax credit will continue to keep solar prices down and make solar more available for middle class homeowners. The IRA also includes a tax credit for buyers of used electric cars, which makes EV’s more affordable for lower-income Americans. 

Here at Tampa Bay Solar we are seeing a huge uptick in customers who buy electric cars then add rooftop solar to their home. This is not only beneficial to our clients’ wallets, but also reduces the amount of fossil fuels used to power their house and car.

More rooftop solar equals less natural gas needed for the production of electricity, and more electric cars on the road equals less gasoline needed for ground transportation across the United States. 

Even with solar on every roof and all ground transportation converted to kilowatts, there will still be a need for fossil fuels in jet planes, making plastic products, home heating, and basic lubrication for machinery. 

Using solar to reduce our domestic consumption of oil and natural gas today will reap huge economic benefits when the rest of the world runs out of these finite resources and has to buy them from American fossil fuel producers.

At the consumer level consider a homeowner who reduces their electric bill by $300 per month, and also saves $200 per month in gasoline costs by driving an electric vehicle. 

These homeowners who own electric cars can reap a 4 year ROI on their rooftop solar array when one factors in gasoline AND utility savings.  

The Inflation Reduction Act will encourage EV and rooftop solar ownership, thus making the American economy far stronger in the long run.

Contributing to a Solar-Powered Future

If you own a home with full sun on your roof a solar array from Tampa Bay Solar might be a good fit for you. 

We primarily use Mission solar panels manufactured in San Antonio, Texas. 

We are doing our part to use American-made products when possible, and Mission panels have proven to be the MOST reliable panels we’ve ever installed, with zero failed panels to date.

Our goal when working with clients is to install the MOST reliable and time tested solution for your specific needs, at a competitive cost.  

Tampa Bay Solar uses OUR OWN employees to install our work, we are NOT a marketing company subbing out work to the least expensive (and least reliable) sub-contractor.

We feel that the highest quality work comes from doing work in-house, with experienced installers who have grown their skill level across many years, on hundreds of jobs here at Tampa Bay Solar. 

Many of our installers are veterans from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard.

We’re proud to employ the young men and women who served our country with honor and distinction.   

When you call us for a price we will ask you about your roof type and average power bill and give you a price over the phone, upfront. 

Call us today: 813. 398. 3687

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