What does “free solar panels” really mean?

You have probably seen advertisements for “free solar panels” or Free solar panels and installation”.  In fact, you may have seen ads from our company, Solar Energy World with that phrase highlighted. If you are one of the skeptics out there who thinks this sounds like a scam, this article may help you to understand why solar companies like ours can make that claim.

We use the term “free solar panels” to promote our power purchase agreement (PPA) because it is the most efficient way to communicate the benefit of this option in a way that a consumer can understand quickly and easily. In a nutshell, we will put solar panels on your roof for no money down (free) but you will not own the system. We will design and install what is essentially a mini power station on your roof or on your 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.

before and after solar graphicLarge, national solar companies like Solar City, Direct Energy Solar and Vivint offer PPAs or leases too but their agreements usually include a rate escalator so although your rate will initially be lower, your electricity costs will still rise. The difference between the large solar chains and independently owned and operated Solar Energy World is that our company gives you a choice of a fixed rate or an option with an escalator. Depending upon the option you choose your rate should be least 20% lower than what you paid for electricity before going solar.

Since never-ending utility rate hikes are a fact of life, this is considered a no-brainer for homeowners on a budget because essentially they pay absolutely nothing to lower their energy bills.

Is leasing a solar system better than owning one?

Solar leases and PPAs are a wonderful option because they make it possible for almost any homeowner to go solar, even if they do not have any cash to purchase a system.  However, many homeowners have found it is more beneficial financially for them to own their solar system because they are seeing a substantial return on investment.

utility costs upside downIf 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. Plus they can sell their SRECs (solar renewable energy credits) to earn even more income. In fact, on average a purchased home solar system generates a 125% return on investment in 5-7 years. By year 20, homeowners are earning 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. To see video testimonials of Maryland homeowners who purchased a solar system and now have a net zero energy homes, click here.

It’s also 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. Solar Energy World offers financing for purchase including an option where a customer can go solar for $0 down and just have low monthly payments.

Slide1The difference is that a car’s value depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot. A solar system starts going up in value as soon as it is online.

Most of Solar Energy World’s customers own their solar energy systems, primarily because we have been in business since 2009 and we just began offering the PPA in 2015. However the number of homeowners who are deciding to go with our PPA is growing quickly because they don’t have to put any money down to begin saving immediately.  Plus if they ever decide to sell their home they will benefit because on average solar panels increase a home’s resale value by almost $6000 per installed Kilowatt.

If you would like to know if your home is eligible for solar or if you qualify for a PPA, Lease or Purchase with financing, please request a free, no obligation solar evaluation by filling out the form on this page. The detailed evaluation you will receive includes a cost benefit analysis so you will have all the facts to help you decide whether going solar is right for you and which financial option would benefit you the most.

Written by Laureen Peck, Vice President of Marketing, Solar Energy World, LLC

To view our current sale offers including more information on free solar panels click HERE.