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Is There a Such Thing as Free Solar Panels?

Jessica PirroSeptember 16, 202011133

Is There a Such Thing as Free Solar Panels?

If you’ve been shopping around for a solar power system, you have probably come across an ad that advertises free solar panels. But can the solar panels be free?

Are Solar Panels Ever Truly Free?

When you meet a solar installer that offers you free solar panels you may see some instant red flags, and that is understandable. Typically when anything is ‘free’ there is a catch, and that is the same with solar panels. When it comes to free solar panels the catch is the homeowner is required to enter into a solar lease or a power purchase agreement.

Will These Free Solar Panels Save You Money?

The reason a homeowner installs a solar power system is going to vary. But the reason that most people decide to install a solar power system is to save some money, eliminating their utility bills, and reducing their carbon footprint. Most people are well aware of the environmental benefits of solar energy, and the environmental benefits of solar energy, typically aren’t going to vary based on each solar power system. But the financial benefits of solar energy are going to vary.

The solar power industry is just like any other industry. The solar installers that are offering the products are looking to make a profit. The solar installers that offer you a solar lease are going to make their money by selling your electricity, typically at a lower rate than what you will pay your utility company.

With the growth of the solar power industry, more and more people are joining the solar power industry, making it more competitive than ever. There are going to be some solar leases that are going to save homeowners more money than others. If you’re looking for a solar financing company to get a solar lease from, you are going to want to pick the company based on the attractiveness of what they are offering. For the homeowners that value the environmental benefits of solar energy over the financial benefits of solar energy, it still is important for you to shop around to make sure that you are getting the best deal.

The Pros and Cons of Free Solar Panels

Free solar panels are going to have both pros and cons.

Pros of Free Solar Panels

Cons of Free Solar Panels

No upfront costs.

Won’t be able to take advantage of the federal investment tax credit or other solar incentives.

Reduce your energy bills.

Lower the long-term savings when compared to owning your solar power system.

Predictable energy pricing.

Entering into a long-term contract.

Not responsible for the solar power system’s maintenance/monitoring.

May be difficult to pass over the agreement while trying to sell your home.

No Solar Incentives or Solar Rebates

One of the biggest setbacks to the free solar panels is you aren’t going to own the solar power system. When you don’t own the solar power system you can’t take advantage of solar incentives such as the federal investment tax credit. The federal investment tax credit saves homeowners 26% in the overall cost of solar panels.

The federal investment tax credits aren’t the only solar incentive that homeowners won’t be eligible for because they have a solar lease, such as solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) which can save homeowners thousands of dollars in certain areas and gives them an even bigger return on investment.

Saves You Less Money in the Long Run

Free solar panels are going to save you less money in the long run if you ever bought them. This means that when a homeowner buys the solar panels, regardless if it’s through cash or a loan, the solar power system will eventually be paid off.

Once the solar power system is paid off, it will generate free solar power and you aren’t going to pay for it each month. This is going to lead to a lot more savings as opposed to getting a solar lease or a power purchase agreement.

You’re Going to Sing to a Long-Term Contract

If you want free solar panels, you will need to enter into a long-term contract with the solar installer, that might prevent homeowners from doing certain home and landscaping upgrades if they might eventually impact the production of the solar power system. A solar lease and PPA contracts are normally going to be between 20 and 25 years.

It May Pose a Problem When it Comes to Selling Your Home

If you know that you are eventually going to want to sell your house, you should be aware that a solar lease might make it a little more difficult for you to sell your home. There may be a lot of prospective homeowners who aren’t going to want to enter into a solar contract. This may end up forcing you to pay a breaking contract fee if your buyers aren’t going to want to enter a solar lease or PPA contract.

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Comments (3)

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