Risks Of Installing Solar Panels
If you browse the internet you are likely to find some horror stories about having solar panels installed. I do not believe that a bad contractor experience should truly reflect poorly on solar panels as a whole. With any upgrade, modification, or substantial repair in any field there is an element of risk.
Are Free Solar Panels A Scam
No, free solar panels are not a scam. Once the solar panels are installed on your roof at no cost to you, you get to use the clean energy the system produces to power your home and lower your electricity bill.
Great sales pitch – right? Heres the thing – the solar panels are free because they arent yours. Instead of paying for the solar panels yourself, you pay the solar company for the solar energy the system produces.
Heres how it works: the solar energy produced by the panels on your roof will be used to power your home. Using solar power reduces the amount of electricity you take from your utility. Plus, with net metering, you can sell excess electricity back to the utility which will lower your electric bill.
Now you dont have a utility bill, but what you will have is a solar PPA or solar leasing payment. Essentially, youre swapping out your utility electric bill for a solar electric bill.
How exactly does this save you money? In most cases, your monthly solar payment will be lower than what your energy bill was before installing solar. So, if your utility bill was $200 each month before installing solar panels, your solar lease payment might be somewhere around $125 each month, saving you $75 per month on electricity.
What Steps Do You Take To Get Started
To receive the panels homeowners must first have a solar system installed in their home. If it is too costly to buy the system, another option is to lease the solar system instead of buying it. Its important to keep every receipt from all aspects of the project. The more you spend on a solar system, the larger your tax credit will be.
There is also what is referred to as power-purchase agreement. Once you sign one of these agreements, a company will install the panels for free. On top of that, your utility bills will probably be considerably lower. Its important to note, however, that in this case you dont actually own the panels. Since youre technically leasing them you cant claim them for tax credits.
There are several possible programs and offers that will enable you to receive panels at no cost. Besides federal tax programs and grants, there may be state rebate programs that will help provide you with solar panels for free or a reduced cost.
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What If I Cant Get Free Solar Panels From Sunrun Or Solarcity
Every day more and more companies are starting to offer solar programs themselves. At the moment I dont have a complete list all all the programs that are being offered. But Check with local installers and see what they have for you. Also remember that depending on where you live and the financing you might get you might not need to get panels through a PPA. Your pay back period might make it more sense finance them yourself and get all the direct benefits. The best thing is to start talking to an expert who can help you decide what is right for you.
What About The Feed
The Feed-in Tariff was a government initiative that paid households for every kilowatt hour of electricity that they produced from renewable sources, also known as the Generation Tariff. On top of this, homeowners were also able to sell any unused electricity to the National Grid .
The Feed-in Tariff was a huge success. Between 2010 and 2017, the UKs renewable energy capacity rose from 9.3 gigawatts to a massive 38.9 gigawatts.
The Feed-in Tariff concluded in April 2019, but anybody who signed up before the deadline will still receive payments until their contract expires.
You may have also heard of the governments Green Homes Grant and Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive. Unfortunately, these schemes also wont help subsidise your solar PV system.
However, you should still check them out. The former could help you save £5,000 on energy-saving home improvements, and the latter subsidises homes which use eco-friendly heat sources.
This is all part of the governments aim to build back greener following the wide-ranging effects of COVID-19, and to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
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Other Types Of Solar Panels And Solar Power
There is a company called Infinia that manufactures a solar power dish. This dish while being marketed mainly to companies and not individuals is an absolute power house when it comes to producing electricity. It is a dish that focuses light on to a stirling engine to produce electricity. Now while not as convenient as a flat solar panel that lay on your roof, the power dish has some distinct advantages.
Is Sunpower A Good Solar Company
SunPower is known for its top-quality and high-efficiency solar panels that generate more power than conventional solar cell technologies. SunPower panels have an attractive appearance and come in a few different sizes and watt options to help both private and commercial consumers get started with renewable energy.
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Are There Other Solar Financing Options
Dont let the word free fool you. There are other solar financing options that can provide you with way better solar savings in the long run.
Ideally, you would want to purchase your solar panel system with cash. This provides the highest long-term savings out of all the financing options.
But while solar is at the lowest price its ever been, its still pretty expensive to install a system. So, if you dont have $10,000 to drop on a solar installation, dont worry, there is another financing option: solar loans.
Cash purchases and solar loans will give you the best long-term solar savings.
Solar loans provide a happy medium for people who want to go solar, but cant shell out the upfront cost. Taking out a solar loan allows you to own the solar system and have higher long-term savings than solar PPAs or solar leases.
Plus, youll get to take advantage of the solar incentives and rebates in your area.
Find out which solar incentives you are eligible for
What Kinds Of Federal Solar Incentives Are Available
The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit is a federal allowance that is available to all US homeowners. You can claim this tax credit when you buy a solar energy system. The allowance lets you credit up to 22% of your spending on the purchase and related installation costs of your solar system .
The residential renewable energy tax credit is a great way to offset some of your solar panel system costs against your earnings. If you dont have enough earnings to offset the credit in a given year, you can also carry it forward.
Another good thing about this renewable energy tax credit is that you can apply the 22% discount to the cost of your solar system after taking any state-level rebates or incentives. What this means is that you have the opportunity to benefit from both federal and state incentives to help you with the cost of your solar system.
This tax credit is currently available until December 31, 2021. You should remember this expiry date when you plan the best time to invest in a solar system.
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The Solar Power Purchase Agreement
The idea of free solar panels typically refers to what is called a power purchase agreement between you and a solar power company. The company is agreeing to install and setup a solar panel array on you home, then monitor, maintain, and even upgrade if it becomes prudent to do so at no cost to you for the life of the agreement, usually 20 to 25 years. In return you are agreeing to purchase power from the company who set them up. The result is a lower monthly bill and a guarantee on what your bill will be in the future. The idea of companies offering and maintaining home solar panels for free has been evolving for a few years now and the incentives that make it possible are growing. More and more Federal, State and Local governments are taking steps to push clean renewable energy, especially solar power. So its a great time to start looking into getting your own free solar panels. The program to get free solar panels that some companies offer is a great way to start producing your own power, help the environment, and feel good about how your power your home. Your home being in a good location, size of your home, type of roof you have and what kind of incentive programs you have available in your area are all part of what a company will look at to determine if your home is right for a Power Purchase agreement. Check your state to see specific conditions and incentives that may be available in your area.
Free Solar Is Used To Advertise $0 Down Solar Programs
Historically, the term Free Solar was commonly used to describe the PACE financing. Predatory contractors would tell homeowners that the cost of their new roof and solar would be free through this government program. Various government authorities set up the PACE programs to offer loans that are paid back as a line item on a homeowners property tax bill. PACE loan eligibility was largely based on home equity. With no required credit checks, to help to verify whether an applicant had the income to repay the loans. These home improvement loans are repaid over a set amount of time through your property tax bill. But oftentimes the homeowner did not realize all of the conditions of the loan.
How You Pay for Free Solar with PACE Financing The cost comes from an increase in your property taxes.
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Why Are Companies Offering To Setup Solar Panels For Free
This is a good question. They say nothing is really free right so whats the catch? The simple answer is this, companies that offer to install free solar panels are using your home and your location to produce solar power. As a reward for producing green energy they are able to get the following benefits. In addition to collecting money from you directly they are able to collect all the Federal and Local Government incentives for producing green energy, get to sell excess energy back to the electric company and if they are operating in a state that is part of the SREC market place, they collect money by producing and selling SCRECS. As time goes on more and more people are pushing for a cleaner greener more renewable source of energy. Governments around the world are responding by enacting incentives for people and businesses to go with renewable forms of energy. One of the most popular incentives in the U.K. is the FIT or Feed-In Tariff. A Feed-In Tariff is an amount that the local power company must pay a person or business that produces power with solar energy. To be clear this is not the producer selling power back to the power company. That is referred to as Net-Metering. With a FIT the producer of energy is paid extra money as a reward for having produced clean renewable energy. Unfortunately in the U.S. there is no Federal Feed-In Tariff but there are a number of other incentives that companies are taking advantage of.
Are Solar Panel Pv Grants Available In 2021
The Green Deal used to offer grants for solar PV panels, but it closed in 2015.
The Green Deal was launched in 2013, offering government grants for solar panels as a way of helping homeowners to make their homes more efficient in order to reduce their energy bills and reduce carbon emissions. Part of this initiative was to provide a loan to homeowners which could be used to install solar panels. This loan was then paid back over 10-25 years using the money that was being saved each month on energy bills. Homeowners would still receive Feed-in Tariff payments. Unfortunately, the government grants for solar panels ended in 2015 after lack of interest from homeowners resulted in the scheme not being able to achieve what it set out to do.
The Feed-in Tariff was an incentive scheme for solar PV panels, but it closed in March 2019 and has been replaced by the Smart Export Guarantee.
The Feed-in Tariff meant that owners would receive payments by exporting the electricity generated by their solar panels to the national power grid. So, as well as saving money on electricity bills, they could be receiving payments from the government for 20 years after the system was installed. The FiT has now been replaced by the Smart Export Guarantee. Find out more here.
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Free Solar Panels Scam Or Not
In a nutshell, if you choose a power purchase agreement , like our RateGuardian PPA, or a solar lease, we will put solar panels on your roof for no money down 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.
Large, national solar companies offer PPAs and 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 at 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.
Should I Just Install My Own Solar Panels
Again this is a personal decision. If you are someone who is OK with more leg work, more responsibility and more risk in order to get more reward then yes. It would be in your best interest to get it done yourself. You will be able to get all the benefits and rewards of having your own solar power system. Things that you will have to do though are:
- Pay for the solar panels and installation yourself
- Monitor your power output constantly
- Perform ongoing maintenance
- Get all the permits for your location
- Find a company to install them
- Make sure to file all paper work correctly for all Tax Credit, Tax Deductions, Sales Rebates and SRECS
- Work with your power company to sell excess power to them.
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Screcs And Net Metering
Net Metering If by chance you produce more power than you need, in most areas you can sell this excess power back to the power company at the same rate they charge. In effect you are now a power company yourself selling power you dont use, lowering your monthly payments that much lower. SCRECS With SCRECS or Solar Renewable Energy Certificates you can sell the value of having produced power with solar energy. As the push gets higher to move towards renewable energy system power companies are being required to produce power with renewable energy. However instead of setting up their own solar plants and wind farms they are meeting this requirement through the purchase of SCRECS. If you live in an area that has a SCREC market you can make extra money just for having produced energy with solar power even though you used all the energy yourself. Taking all these factors into account it is quite possible to get your own solar panels setup on your roof, not increase your monthly bills and at the same time reduce your electric bill to zero and possibly start making some extra money each month to boot. So is it the same as just having someone give you full set of solar panels no, but all things figured out it really didnt cost you anything other than time. And of course you increased the value of your home as well.
What Kinds Of Incentives Are Available
The first point to note is perhaps an obvious one, but its worth saying. Nobody is just going to come to your house and install a solar system for free.
While there are lots of ways you can get financial help with the purchase of your solar system, it will take some careful planning, and you need to be aware of what is available to you before you get started with looking at designs. Lets go through all of the different options that might be available to you. You
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Qualifying For Free Solar Panels
When your home is being assessed for installation of solar panels the main things that a company is looking for are: