Why Would They Offer Free Panels
Simple, they can still make good profits from receiving the FIT or NIROC payments in addition to the fee they receive for selling any unused electricity back to the grid.
So, just to make sure were clear, you get free panels on your roof plus you get to use as much of the free electricity as you can.
Don’t get me wrong. For many of us who can’t afford residential solar panels to produce electricity, this system can be fantastic, as it can halve the cost of your annual electricity bill.
But, as with most things there’s a little more to it.
All the firms offering the free panels will have them fitted by a MCS registered installer, otherwise the installation won’t be eligible for the FIT or NIROC scheme and the company won’t get its payments.
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If Your Firm Goes Bust Payments Won’t Transfer Automatically
If you’re on a feed-in tariff , your payments won’t transfer automatically to a new provider if your current supplier goes bust.
This is different from the smart export guarantee if you’re on a FIT, regulator Ofgem will appoint a new supplier for you, but payments won’t start until your contract starts.
The new company will contact you to confirm your tariff information and it must also confirm whether it’s a FIT licensee. If it’s not, you may need to find another FIT supplier to continue to receive payments.
As above, you’re able to choose a different supplier from the one Ofgem appoints for you if you wish, but it shouldn’t really matter, as your FIT rates won’t change.
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What Is A Solar Panel
A panel, which is specially designed to soak up the suns radiation and then use it to generate electricity.
They convert light into electricity.
Its usually called photovoltaics by some scientists, which means light-electricity.
A solar panel is an assortment of solar cells that absorb the suns rays and convert the heat energy into electric energy, making it useful to light up different appliances or electronic devices.
Solar panels use the sun, our most crucial star as a source of power generation, which not only generates electricity but also helps plants grow, provide humans with Vitamin D, and calms a stressed mind and is now one of the most powerful and familiar sources of energy.
How Long Will It Be Before My Solar Installation Pays For Itself
Think of a solar installation in terms of return on investment . Your utility bill savings starts in the first month. In the long run, installing solar results in the 10s of thousands of dollars of savings. Its just a matter of how long it takes to pay off your installation cost.
A solar array will pay for itself in a relatively short amount of time, often between 7 and 12 years. Then, as the cost of electricity continues to go up , your costs will stay relatively the same.
Commercial properties also get depreciation so they tend to get payback even quicker.
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Find Out If These Offers Are Worthwhile Or Misleading
- Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
- University of California, Santa Cruz
- Western New Mexico University
- University of Tennessee
If youre in the market for residential solar, you may have come across offers for free solar panels.” But is free solar just a marketing gimmick, or is there a tangible advantage to these offers?
In order to make the best decision for your solar energy needs, its important to go beyond the sales pitch and analyze the fine print.
What Is It Made Of
The structure and development of solar panels differ from type to type.
There are mainly two types of solar panels used around the world on rooftops, as well as ground-mounted installations.
This is the most common type of solar panel.
There are usually blue or black with small squares in rectangular grids.
The solar cells on this panel are connected in a series circuit, which helps the system produce more electricity by the system.
There are further two types of crystalline silicon panels: polycrystalline and monocrystalline.
This type of panels is mostly used in large scale industries where more number of solar panels are required in a suitable budget.
It consists of a thin layer of semiconducting material on the glass.
As its evident by its name, its fragile and flexible.
Furthermore, there are many types of thin-film: Amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium gallium selenide.
Module assembly is also one of the types of solar panels that consist of solar cells with a thin layer of glass in front and a protective back sheet on the back.
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Do You Need Planning Permission
In most cases you wont need planning permission to install solar panels on your roof. The main caveats are that as long as the building isnt listed, or you want to install them on a block of flats then generally youll not require permission, however a qualified installer that visits your property will give you a final assessment.
If You Already Have Solar Panels And Get The Feed
If you already have solar panels and get the feed-in tariff, the closure of the scheme won’t affect you. Depending on when your panels were installed and certified you’re guaranteed to get the payments for at least 20 years:
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Faq: Are Free Solar Panels Really Free
Can I really get solar panels for free?
In short, no, you can not get solar panels for free. What is possible however, is installing solar with a $0-down financing option, whether through a solar lease, PPA or solar loan.
How can I get solar panels for zero money down?
Solar leases, PPAs and loans all offer viable options of investing in solar without upfront costs. The best financing option for you will vary depending on your budget, credit score and eligibility for local incentives.
Are no-cost solar programs really no cost?
No, there is no such thing as a no-cost solar program. These types of programs are really solar leases or power purchase agreements. In these types of agreements, a company installs solar panels on your roof for no money upfront but charges you to use the power they produce each month.
Karsten Neumeisteris a writer and renewable energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on renewable energy policy and technology. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.
What About Free Solar Panels
They say there is no such thing as a free lunch, but does this apply to solar panels? While there are free options available, the company installing and paying for them will keep the feed-in tariff payments .
The company in return offers you some or all of the energy saving potential. Savings range from £150-£300 per year, with no investment and no cash return.
Be aware that it wont be possible for you to buy your way out of the contract, and will transfer with the sale if you decide to sell.
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Two Ways That You Can Make Savings
When you use the solar power that you generate directly from your panels, you save around 30c per kWh, or whatever the rate you pay for electricity. If your solar energy gets fed back into the grid, you will receive a feed-in-tariff a credit for your excess power. Feed-in tariffs vary by state and retailer, but are typically around 10c per kWh.
Solar Renewable Energy Credits
Some states have a particularly strong focus on renewable energy, and their local utilities are obliged to meet quotas regarding the amount of energy that they produce from solar and other renewable sources.
This requirement has given rise to the solar renewable energy credit or . Households with solar systems capable of producing more than 1 MWh of electricity can claim SRECs. You can sell in addition to selling them your electricity. Its a kind of extra reward for going with solar power.
Don’t Assume You’ll Always Recoup The Cost Of Solar Panels On Your Home’s Value If You Sell Your House Early
Some people assume that a more efficient home generating its own energy would be more attractive to buyers. But others worry that ‘ugly’ panels plastered all over their roof could push the price of their house down.
Solar panels are a hefty investment and might not be suited to those planning to move in the next few years certainly you shouldn’t expect a big upfront investment to be immediately reflected by a jump in your home’s value.
Trade body Solar Energy UK recently published a report which found homeowners who move having had panels installed would claw back some of the value of their investment in a higher sale price. It looked at more than five million property transactions and said a typical home with solar panels could increase in price by at least £1,800.
When we asked NAEA Propertymark for an overview, it was more cagey. It said: “Having such sustainable technologies will become more attractive for homeowners in the future. There are benefits to having solar panels however, in the short term, they don’t provide an increase in house value, with the panels often costing more than they attribute in value. With houses coming on to the market in short supply and other factors, people are being forced to compromise on their preferences, including energy saving measures.”
What Are Solar Leases / Solar Ppas
Solar leases and PPAs offer people a way to go solar with no up-front cost.
Under a solar lease, the installer builds a system on your property and charges you a monthly fee to lease the equipment from them. You pay a flat monthly fee and get to use 100% of your systems production.
Power purchasing agreements are similar, except instead of renting the equipment for a set fee each month, you buy power from the installer at a flat rate per kWh. So if you use less power than your system produces, you dont have to pay for any excess generation.
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Rooftop Solar Leases Scaring Buyers When Homeowners Sell
A recent article lists experiences of homeowners who have had a solar lease and faced various challenges when attempting to sell a house. Thats because instead of owning them the leased the panels the the new owner of the house is required to assume a lease contract. Many sellers need to shave the asking price by the remaining cost of the lease , to draw in buyers unfamiliar with the financing arrangement. Read More in this article By Will Wade, Bloomberg.
What Are The Downsides Of Free Solar Panels
Free solar panels are no longer available in the UK, however, if you have opted for the free solar panels deal it may be good to be aware of some of its downsides.
You might have trouble with selling your home if you wish to at some point. Some people can be thrown off by the big solar panels on the roof, even though they will be the ones using them and the electricity they provide.
If you entered a 20-25 year agreement with a company, you will have to include this in the selling process and ensure that the next homeowners will also agree to the terms assuming the agreement can even be transferred.
All in all, there downsides are that you dont own the system, and hence don’t receive the FiT payment yourself.
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The State Of Solar Energy
For a long time people have been saying solar panels would revolutionize the energy industry. But it wasnt until recently that this prediction finally started to come true. Thanks to a number of interrelated factorsincluding solar-friendly industry regulations, government tax incentives, lower equipment costs, and improved technology, just to name a fewthe cost of installing solar energy systems has dropped about 70 percent over the last decade. As a result, not only are solar panels more affordable than ever, but when you factor in the money youll save on energy and the value they add to your home, going solar could be the best financial decision you will ever make.
Or it might not.
Is solar worth it in your area? Thats a tough question to answer on your own. Though weve come a long way, investing in solar panels is still not the best option for everyone. The cost-benefit ratio and ROI depends on a number of complicated factors, including the architectural features and geographical location of your home, the prevalence of solar contractors and suppliers in your area, and the laws and regulations in your state or municipality.
Is Solar Worth It Ask Understand Solar
Understand Solar is a third-party solar energy advocate entirely dedicated to helping consumers navigate the process of researching, financing, and installing solar energy systems. If you are completely new to solar energy, Understand Solar will teach you everything you need to know, from how solar energy systems work, to how they connect to the public grid, to how much solar panels cost, and how long they last. Understand Solar can also explain all your financing and leasing options, as well as any government tax incentives that may be available to you.
Once you understand the basics of solar energy, Understand Solar provides a free, personalized, commitment-free solar energy assessment. All you have to do is fill out a simple online form that asks for a few basic details about your home. After that, a solar energy expert will contact you via phone to discuss your assessment and answer any questions you may have.
At this point, you may learn that, for one reason or another, solar energy is not right for you. However, you might discover that solar panels can make you a lot of money.
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What You Need To Know
Whether youre looking to install solar panels on your home or your business we can help. Well answer some of the most common questions about solar, provide you with important resources, and help arm you with the knowledge and information you need to talk to solar contractors with ease. Not sure youre ready just yet? We can help with that, too. Learn about the many benefits of solar.
Are you a solar installer? Visit our Renewable Energy Installers section for helpful tips and resources.
Sure, Florida might be the Sunshine State but solar power works great here, too. And while its true Oregon is not known as one of the countrys sunniest spots, we do get more sunshine than Germany, which is the world leader in solar energy generation. You can install solar panels on your rooftop or you may prefer a ground mount solar system. Talk to your solar contractor about which method is best for your home or business. Here are some additional location tips you should consider:
What If I Install Solar Panels Myself
The cost of solar panels is continuously decreasing and becoming more affordable, and therefore many experts say that buying your own solar panel system is the better option anyway.
If you want to install solar panels on your house, just fill in the form above and request up to 4 quotes from suppliers nearby you. The service is absolutely freeand without obligation.
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Solar Panels Are Not Worth It For You If
- Your home doesn’t get enough sun exposure: If you know anything about how solar panels work, it won’t be a surprise that darker areas benefit a bit less from this renewable energy source. If your roof tends to be shaded for long stretches of the day , then your solar panels may not get the sun exposure they need to generate a solid ROI. That being said, solar panel efficiency in cloudy regions may surprise you and â fun fact â solar panels are actually slightly more effective in the cold.
- You’re ineligible for incentives and rebates: Certain municipalities and utility companies offer incentives on top of the federal tax credit, which can have a big impact on your solar payback period. If your local government or power company doesn’t have its own incentives, or has a poor or non-existant net metering policy, a solar investment may not be worth it for your home.
- You have low costs for electricity: If your electrical bills are already fairly minimal, then installing a residential solar system will yield more modest savings.
- You don’t have the right kind of roof: Certain types of roofs just aren’t as well-suited for solar power installation. For example, older or historic homes, homes that have overly tiled roofs and homes that have larger skylights may not be good matches for solar energy. Homes that aren’t facing the best direction for solar exposure may not be the best candidates.