Solar energy has the potential to save homeowners thousands of dollars on their energy bills.
Yet, it has a reputation for being an expensive home improvement investment.
But that isn’t really the case anymore.
You see ads for cheap solar panels popping up everywhere now.
But the thing about cheap is…it sounds bad. Right?
It kind of sounds like maybe they won’t work as well or they’ll look bad or won’t last as long.
So what does cheap actually mean in this context?
Between tax incentives, gov. rebates, private investors, and SRECs, homeowners can now get zero money down solar installation.
Which makes solar…well…cheaper.
But only if they know the proper channels to go through.
And it doesn’t cheapen the panels. Nothing about the solar panels are changing. The only thing changing is the accessibility of solar panels.
Solar is “cheap” in the way it’s more affordable. And compared to prices when they first hit the market…they really are super cheap by comparison.
But the quality is even better than before as years of research and funding has honed the science and tech behind them.
Which means this is basically the best time ever to go solar.
But be a smart solar shopper and don’t just hop onto the first free-solar deal that comes along. Different options will fit each homeowner better depending on their individual needs.
And there are different options!
There are three main ways to get your solar panels “cheap”: the PPA program,the solar lease option, and the solar loan option.
Though they are all similar, there are some important distinctions.
The PPA program gets you the solar power panels completely free. Here’s the rundown:
- Find out if you qualify for the PPA option (use the Home Professionals quote finder below–works like a charm).
- Research and talk to solar experts about which option is best for you.
- Once everything is good, the solar company will come out and install the solar panels on your roof at completely no cost to you.
- You will enter into a mutually beneficial contract with the solar company. They give you the benefits of solar installation free, and you contract to buy your energy the solar panels generate through the solar company at a fixed price (usually by per – kWh).
- The contract is usually for 15-20 years. This may be a turn-off for some homeowners, but keep in mind it can be transferred if the home is sold. And think about how often you change energy companies? Not often. So it’s really not such a scary thing.
- The solar company agrees to keep the solar panel system maintained and functioning at its best (again, no cost to you).
- You’re still tied to the grid–meaning if there is a problem with the panels you still have power.
- The cost will usually rise annually, but will still be below the cost of coal-powered grid electricity.
- Ability to invest in your home at little to no cost. May improve the value of your home.
- You save thousands of dollars on your energy bills (expect 10-30% savings on your energy costs).
Now the lease option for homeowners is also very popular and affordable. Here’s the breakdown on solar leasing:
- Low or no upfront costs.
- Great if you have some savings.
- You don’t pay for the solar panels or installation.
- Contract is around 15-20 years.
- You don’t pay for the energy that is generated by the solar panels. Instead, you make monthly lease payments and any additional payments you might have to make to the electrical grid when solar doesn’t cover you. You are tied to the grid so you won’t be without power ever if the pv solar system suddenly stops working or is less effective.
- Solar company doesn’t necessarily contract to maintain or repair system.
- Invest without having to pay much or any money upfront.
- Lease payments usually rise 3-4% each year, however, it is still cheaper than fossil fuel electricity.
- Increase the value of your home.
And if those options are not appealing, you can also try solar loans.
- Here is a way to find solar loan providers.
- When the loan is paid off you will own the system.
- Often have zero-down offers.
- Save 40-70% over your solar panels’ lifetime.
- Solar loans have similar structure and conditions as home improvement loans.
- You own the system, which means you have access to benefits such as state rebates and the federal investment tax (30% reduction on cost of solar panel system). While solar companies will utilize these incentives in order to provide free solar arrays, solar loans make it so you are the own that owns the system, therefore, you’re the one that gets the incentives.
- Improves the value of your home.
Always shop around–don’t settle.
Getting cheap solar panels is not one-size-fits-all.
Use Home Professionals expert and quote finder below to get connected to the best deals and pros in your area. You don’t even have to lift a finger. Get a free quote and talk to your local solar professionals today.