Should I Buy Solar, Get a New Deck, or Invest my Money?

Buy SolarIt’s almost spring and you’re ready to make an investment.  Should you buy solar, build a deck for your house, or just put the money in the stock market? What’s the right move?

You can look at this strictly from a financial point of view:

  • NEW DECK: The deck will never earn any money for you, but it might add about half of its cost to the resale value of your home if you’re lucky.
  • BUY STOCKS: Investing in the market is risky because there’s no guarantee of future performance.  Timing is everything and the world is an uncertain place.
  • BUY SOLAR: The tax credits for investing in solar are a lock.  The cash generated from the system every day is very predictable and practically guaranteed.  Once your system is paid back (about 5 or 6 years for most Massachusetts customers), you can enjoy predictable income streams from the rest of the 10-year SREC program and the reduction in your monthly electric bill for at least 20 years!  As electric rates go up the value of the solar electricity will go higher and higher.  If you sell your house, these income streams add roughly the full cost of your solar panel installation to your home’s value, so in that sense solar pays for itself the moment it’s installed.

How about the intangibles?

  • NEW DECK: Enjoying some time with your family on a beautiful deck in the summertime is one of life’s pleasures.
  • BUY STOCKS: 80% of the time this will be pretty boring.  10% might get lucky and feel like Gordon Gecko if they do really well.  10% might throw away some real money that could’ve been turned into a deck or solar.  Can you live with the risk of damaging your psyche?!
  • BUY SOLAR: You can feel confident your family has made a no-risk financial investment and you can be proud that you’re producing clean electricity right where it’s needed, rather than burning things to make steam to turn a generator hundreds of miles away.

Our advice is to install solar now, then when you’ve recovered your investment use it to get the new deck. 2017 is a great year for solar in Massachusetts.  A couple of the incentives, the Mass Solar Loan and SRECs, may change soon so we’ve been urging customers to act soon. Brightstar Solar is a solar contractor who can maximize incentives and navigate you through the installation process.  Please call us at 617-564-0050 or sign up for a free solar quote for your Massachusetts home or business.