Going solar could cost even more thanks to new tariff

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Going solar could cost you even more following President Donald Trump's decision of solar imports. The administration announced Monday a 30 percent tariff on solar panels imported from overseas. (KGO-TV)

Going solar could cost you even more following President Donald Trump's decision on solar imports. The administration announced Monday a 30 percent tariff on solar panels imported from overseas.

"Really, almost more than anything else mean jobs," said Trump.

Some industry insiders question the benefit. "Having an imposed tariff upon us is something the solar industry, it's the last thing we need at this stage," said Jesse Quay of Sun Light & Power -- a contractor out of Berkeley that imports solar materials to make homes and businesses environmentally sound.

Quay fears the tariff on imported solar panels will slow down business due to higher costs. "On certain products, it's going to be 15 cents a watt," said Quay. "Other products, 30 cents a watt, which is substantial."

Trade industry experts say it's still too early to determine the overall impact.

"We're going to have to be more efficient in other areas. Which is hard and challenging when you already have been working so hard to reduce costs on every aspect of the installation process," said Jeanine Cotter, member of the California Solar Energy Industries Association.

However, The Alliance for American Manufacturing applauded the decision, saying American workers and manufacturers "...can not compete against surging unfair imports from countries like China, which are dumping product into the U-S in an attempt to put American companies out of business..."

Only time will tell whether these tariffs will hurt or help California's effort to go solar.
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societyenvironmentsolar energyPresident Donald Trumpdonald trumppoliticsBerkeley
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