A lot of people see an advertisement for “free solar panels” and automatically think it must be a scam. Those who decide to investigate further learn that what these ads are actually referring to is a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) offer. The solar panels are not “literally” free because they cost something to manufacture. However, the homeowner does not have to pay for the panels or the installation with a PPA, so for the homeowner, the equipment and installation is virtually like getting “free solar panels”.
THE TRUTH ABOUT FREE SOLAR PANELS: WITH A POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENT (PPA) HOMEOWNERS PAY NOTHING TO SAVE 20-30% ON ELECTRICITY COSTS
Paying nothing to start saving on your utility bills seems like a no-brainer right? It works like this; A solar company will install what is essentially a personal power station on a roof or property at no cost to you and then sell you the electricity it produces at a lower rate than what your utility company charges you. Your obligation is to pay only for the electricity generated by the panels – but you do not own the equipment. The SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Credits) will go to the PPA company who owns the panels so they will receive this income – not the homeowner. This is how the solar company makes money. If the company could not profit from this type of deal, PPAs wouldn’t exist.
The beauty of a PPA is that it makes it possible for more homeowners to go solar because there are $0 upfront costs for solar panels and installation. Plus the savings aren’t bad either. On average with a locked in low rate, homeowners with PPAs end up paying 20% -30% less a month for electricity than they did prior to going solar. They literally start saving money as soon as the solar panels are installed and activated.
“I love my solar power system. Besides having a warm fuzzy feeling when I think about going green, there are so many benefits to home owners that it almost seems ridiculous not to look into solar energy.” – Teresa Miller, Howard County. MD
PURCHASE OPTION HELPS HOMEOWNERS PAY 50-100% LESS FOR ELECTRICITY AND MAKE PROFITS
If a homeowner decides to buy a system they not only save on energy costs as soon as the system is operational, but they also begin to generate profits from the excess energy their system produces because they can sell their SRECs to earn income.
In addition, most homeowners who own their solar system receive money back from their utility company at the end of the year. Since today’s solar systems are all tied to the grid, if you generate more electricity than you use, the excess goes back to your utility company, running the meter backward and giving you a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods where the home’s electricity use exceeds the system’s output. In simple terms, net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid and customers are only billed for their “net” energy use. (Exported solar electricity also serves nearby customers’ loads.)
This is why on average a purchased home solar system generates a 125% return on investment in 5-7 years. By year 20, homeowners can expect to achieve a 500% return on investment. Many of Solar Energy World’s customers who own their solar system now pay $0 for their electricity due to the ROI it provides.
“We purchased our 15 kW PV system from Solar Energy World almost 5 years ago, they designed a system that took us to NetZero status. Each year we get a check from BGE for the excess energy we produce – can’t beat that! They took care of all the paperwork regarding BGE, and helped us get set up so that we could record our output and sell our SRECS. We recommend their products and service highly.” – Robyn Knopf Needel, Baltimore County, Maryland
IS PURCHASE AFFORDABLE?
It’s a lot less difficult to purchase a solar system then many people think it would be. Buying a solar system is similar to purchasing a car. Most people do not pay cash for a car and most people do not pay cash for a solar system. There are many financing options for purchase including an option where a customer can go solar for $0 down and just have low monthly payments. It is also possible to be cash flow positive on day one. Most things you purchase depreciate in value after time – like a car for example. A car’s value decreases as soon as you drive it off the lot. A solar electric system’s value goes up.
ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR SOLAR PPA OR PURCHASE?
To find out if you could benefit from a Solar PPA (Free solar panels option as explained above) or Solar Purchase, schedule a Free Home Solar Evaluation with one of our certified solar analysts. Your evaluation will include a cost benefit analysis as well as ROI projections based on your financing qualifications, energy usage, home orientation, and other factors.