- BecauseSolar and Sungage share the belief that providing folks with simple, hassle-free options and solar panel system ownership is the key to energy financing. In an industry where solar panel energy is predominantly leased, solar panel system ownership is often overlooked as being 'too expensive' or 'impractical'.
- A solar lease means a company owns the panels it installs on your home, which eliminates your installation costs. You enter into a lease agreement, typically for a term of 15 to 25 years.
- Free & Discounted Solar Panel Installation. If you’re willing to do the research and are a true do-it-yourselfer (in other words, you enjoy fixing stuff, problem-solving, don’t need a warranty, and you can tolerate uncertainty about how long equipment will last), then there are several ways you can get the absolute best deal on solar panels in order to reduce your impact on the planet.
- 1.1 CAuTIONS REgARdINg INSTALLATION OF SOLAR POWER SySTEMS Do not stand or step on solar module. 4 Do not install near flammable gases. 5 Do not drop or allow objects to fall onto module. 6 Completely cover solar module with opaque materials when wiring to halt production of electricity. 7 Keep the back side of solar module surfaces free of.
- How To Get Free Solar Panels
- Free Solar Panel Design
- S.i.u University Free Solar Panel Installs 2019
- Install Solar Panels Home
If you’ve been shopping around for a solar panel system, you’ve probably heard at least one company advertise ‘free solar panels’ – that they will install a solar energy system on your roof for free. But, much as with anything, remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch (or a free solar panel).
What do companies mean when they say free solar panels?
Here's the deal: There is no such thing as a free lunch (or a free solar panel installation). Free solar panels’ are not actually free; you will pay for the electricity that they produce, usually under a 20 to 25 year solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA). Sales Pitch: Free Solar In New Jersey. The term ‘free solar panels’ is.
Decoding the sales pitch: The term ‘free solar panels’ is sometimes used to advertise solar lease or solar power purchase agreements (PPAs). Under both types of arrangements, a company will put solar panels on your roof for no money up-front but will charge you for the electricity that they produce. Most offers will save you money but not all of them, so make sure you’ve thoroughly compared all your options. Also consider buying the solar panels or financing them with a zero-down solar loan.
So what do a company’s marketers and salespeople mean when they say ‘free solar panels’? Usually, they are referring to solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPA’s). Under these solar financing arrangements, a solar company will put a solar system on your roof at no up-front cost to you. This sounds great – you get to say that your home is powered by clean energy, and can even point to the solar panels on your roof to prove it.
But the reality is that you do not technically own the system, and the solar energy the panels produce is not free. Under solar lease agreements, ownership is retained by the solar company, and you pay for the electricity it produces. In essence, the company has built a small power plant on your roof and is selling you the electricity.
Will free solar panels save you money?
You may have various reasons for going solar. If you’re like most people, saving money, eliminating your utility bills and/or reducing your carbon footprint are probably at the top. The environmental benefits of going solar are more or less the same regardless of who installs your system, so it’s key to focus on the financial benefits.
Regardless of its ‘do-good’ image, the solar industry is an industry like any other: the companies offering products are looking to turn a profit. Providers of solar leases make their money by selling you electricity, usually at a lower rate than what you pay your utility.
How To Get Free Solar Panels
Although companies like SolarCity once dominated the market for solar leases, countless other players have since entered the space and begun competing with each other. Some solar leases will save you more money than others. You as a solar shopper can now take your pick of company based on the attractiveness of their offering. So even if financial gain is secondary to environmental considerations for you, you should still shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Interested in learning about your local solar options? By shopping on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace you can compare not only solar lease options, but also purchase and solar loan options. Sign up today to get quotes from solar installers in your area.
Looking for free solar panels? Try financing your system with a solar loan instead
The revolutionary thing about solar leases was that they made it possible for virtually anyone with a roof to go solar, regardless of whether they had cash in the bank to purchase a system. Solar leases were crucial in removing barriers to entry back when solar system prices were prohibitively high.
But times have changed substantially since solar leases were introduced. Solar systems are now more affordable than ever, and that financing options other than solar leases have become viable. The most important of these is the solar loan, which combines the ‘zero-down’ aspect of the solar lease with the benefits of system ownership (‘the best of both worlds‘).
The falling cost of solar
So before you sign up for the first ‘free solar panel’ deal that comes your way, make sure you understand what you’re being offered and that you’ve considered all of your other options. In other words, be a smart solar shopper.
At EnergySage, we hear a lot of solar myths. Here are some of the top ones most in need of busting.
Free Solar Panel Design
Solar myth #1: “The government will give you free solar panels.”
You may come across scammy solar advertisements about “free solar panels from the government.” This isn’t true; you can go solar for $0 down with a solar loan or lease, but federal and state governments do not provide free solar panel installations.
While the government won’t cover the cost of a solar panel installation, they do subsidize the upfront cost of purchasing a solar panel system through various solar incentives. The federal investment tax credit (ITC) allows you to claim 26 percent of the cost of your solar installation as a credit towards what you owe in federal taxes. Depending on where you live, your state or local government may also provide additional solar incentives such as tax credits, rebates, or performance-based incentives (PBIs).
Solar myth #2: “Solar is only for rich people.”
Many people are under the assumption that solar panels are a luxury purchase, and strictly an option for affluent people. This isn’t true – thanks to the falling costs of solar and the accessibility of financing options, solar is a feasible option for many property owners.
The cost of solar has dropped substantially in the last decade – in 2008, the average cost of a solar panel installation was $8.82 per watt. For comparison, the average cost for solar quoted on EnergySage now is $2.81 per watt.
As far as financing options go, there are solar loans and leases available for no money down. If your solar installation covers 100 percent of your electricity needs and your monthly solar finance payment is lower than your typical electricity bill, you’ll see savings right off the bat.
Solar myth #3: “Going solar means going off the grid”
It is possible to install an off-grid solar panel system with the use of solar batteries, but the majority of solar panel installations are grid-tied. This allows you to use solar energy produced by your system during the day and draw electricity from the grid after the sun is down.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t cover all of your electricity needs with a solar panel system – because of a policy called net metering, your utility will provide credits on your electricity bill for excess energy produced during the day. With net metering, you’ll only be charged for the net amount of energy you’re using from the grid. If you generate more electricity than you use in a given month, you can use those net metering credits on a future bill. Even if your solar energy system produces more energy than you use in your electricity billing cycle, you will still receive an electric bill from your utility, but it will show a negative amount owed.
Net metering policies can vary by state and utility, so it’s a good idea to check with your utility company about the specifics of their net metering prior to going solar.
Solar myth #4: “Solar panels won’t work in the winter.”
Solar panels need sunshine to generate electricity. If you live in a particularly cold state that experiences a lot of snowstorms, you will likely generate less solar power in the winter months than summer because of fewer sunlight hours. However, the amount of electricity you’ll generate in the winter will still be enough to enjoy savings on your electricity bill. In fact, during the winter months when the sun is shining, solar panels actually perform more efficiently due to the colder temperatures.
When your solar panels are covered in snow, they will not generaeng power. Fortunately, solar panels are designed to bear a certain amount of weight and the snow shouldn’t cause any issues. Additionally, most panels are tilted at an angle so next time the sun comes out, the snow will slide off on its own.
Solar myth #5: “When you go solar, you will get a check from your utility company.”
This isn’t true, except in rare circumstances. Most utility companies will have restrictions in place to prevent you from interconnecting a solar panel system that produces far more energy than what your meter history indicates you need. Even if you are generating more solar energy than you’re using, utilities that offer net metering will provide monetary credits towards your future electricity bill, but rarely will they pay these out as a check – more likely, it will remain an ongoing credit on your electricity bill.
In the rare circumstance that your utility company will send you a check for excess electricity, it’s likely for a wholesale electricity rate that has a much lower value than a net metering credit. Another circumstance in which you’d receive a check from your utility from solar energy is if they offer a PBI for solar generation separately from net metering (for example, National Grid’s Renewable Energy Growth incentive).
Solar myth #6: “Solar panels will damage your roof.”
Some property owners hesitate in installing solar on rooftops because they worry about possible damage. Luckily, roof damage from a solar panel installation is extremely rare.
For one, solar installation companies will inspect roofs prior to installing on them. An engineering and structural review of your roof will confirm whether or not it can withstand the added weight of a solar installation. Most solar installations will require holes in the roof to affix the racking, but sealants at these holes will prevent roof leaks. Solar installers will also provide a workmanship warranty (typically from 5 to 25 years) to protect you on the off chance that damage occurs as a result of their installation work.
As long as you’re working with a qualified, licensed solar professional, you won’t have to worry about roof damage. Stories of roof damage after solar installations are usually a result of a poor installation, or a company installing solar on a roof that wasn’t in good condition to begin with.
S.i.u University Free Solar Panel Installs 2019
Explore your solar options on EnergySage
Install Solar Panels Home
If you’re interested in exploring your solar options, sign up on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace. You’ll receive quotes from pre-screened, vetted installers in your area that will include information about costs, savings, equipment, incentives, and more. If you’d prefer to start your research with a ballpark estimate, try our Solar Calculator.