30% tariff makes going solar more expensive

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It's a good time to get solar done now because it looks like prices for solar panels are going up by 30 percent. (KFSN)

It is a good time to get solar done now because it looks like prices for solar panels are going up by 30 percent.

It's billed as a way to give American made solar panels a boost. 70 percent of all solar panels are made by China and the tariff recommended by the President slaps a 30 percent tariff on all imported panels. Congressman Jim Costa of Fresno says it will hurt.

"I think it's going to have an impact and at least in the short term the impact is going to be negative," Costa said.

Costa fears the price hike will raise prices and cost jobs. The Solar Industry Association predicts fewer solar installations in the coming year, costing 23,000 jobs but Glenn Siemens the owner of Arise Solar, is not worried.

"I am in support of the tariff, for the simple reason we lost 25 great American manufacturers for solar in the past couple of years. So it's nice to see we are supporting businesses to get back on their feet and that," Siemens said. "It'll be back to the competition who installs the best solar, the best quality offers the best quality so I'm really not too worried about it."

Siemens get his solar panels from Asian countries that will be subject to the tariff but says he does not think the increase in costs will hurt his business.

However, critics say this is really part of the trump administrations attack on renewable energy. China is expected to appeal to the World Trade Organization, and as one of our biggest trading partners, they could retaliate.

"It's an important energy source and that's why you have to be careful about these kinds of trade efforts and retaliation because they work both ways."

If they are upheld, it is not clear when the tariffs would actually take effect, and they are spread out over four years.

Dropping from 30 percent the first year to 15 percent in the fourth year.

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