Local solar company bracing for new tariff on solar panel imports

President Donald Trump announced 30 percent tariff

By Bill Barajas - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The local solar industry is preparing to take on President Donald Trump's newly announced 30 percent tariff on solar panel imports.

"Our material ordering, our permitting, engineering, anywhere, we can tighten our belts a little bit to be able to absorb some of the rising costs to panels," said Daniel Moyer, chief operating officer of CAM Solar.

Moyer said smaller companies don't have the money to operate in the same way, though.

"So you're going to see some companies go out of business, definitely see layoffs and you're going to see consumers get a worse value," Moyer said.

Overall, Moyer believes residential customers will see a 5 to 10 percent price increase.

"It's still going to be a good investment, but now your 10 to 12 percent return turns into an 8 to 9 percent return," Moyer said.

The news for consumers is not all bad, especially if you've already had solar panels installed.

"There's already an equity component when you buy solar. Instantly, the value of your home increases, and that just jumped even more because the cost to retrofit solar on your home just jumped. You're going to see high resale value," Moyer said.

The 30 percent tariff will decrease 5 percent every year over four years. Moyer admits the tariff isn't ideal, but he's optimistic about the future of the solar industry.

"At the end of the day, CAM Solar is going to be around. At the end of the day, the solar industry is going to be around," Moyer said.

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