Choosing to install a residential solar system may appear like an overwhelmingly expensive upgrade. However, the benefits of installing a solar panel system can far outweigh the costs associated with the installation. Many homeowners have found the savings have allowed them to pay for their system with ease, while enjoying the freedom from the utility company.
What solar financing options are available to homeowners, and which one should be considered? That all depends on personal preference. This goal of this article is to provide a very brief summary of the current options.
The old adage that “cash is king” also applies to a solar purchase. The simplest and most preferred method is to pay with a check to reduce the complexities and long-term cost of a homeowner’s system.
The obvious benefits are:
- From the start, the homeowner owns the system
- If the homeowner decides to sell, the system can be positioned as an added value
- The homeowner receives all the tax incentives
- No recurring bills or contracts
For those homeowners that do not have the cash to pay for a system up-front, a loan is the next best option. A solar loan offers immediate short-term savings, as monthly payments are still lower than the utility bill. Unlike lease options, the federal tax credits are still available to the homeowner to reduce the loan payment or invest elsewhere.
Solar Leases and Purchase Agreements (PPA)
The selling point of a PPA is that a homeowner can enjoy the benefits of solar immediately without the need of capital or financing. An installer will point out the high kilowatt hour rates from the utility and sell the homeowner on a long-term contract promising prices lower than the utility’s cost of electricity.
While a PPA has the immediate benefit to solar without an up-front payment, it does have consequences that need to be considered.
- Not eligible for any federal tax credits
- Substantially lower long-term savings compared to purchasing
- Extremely difficult passing the agreement if your home is sold
- In a PPA, where your system is size correctly. you may actually begin to incur costs.
The Palomar Difference
At Palomar Solar and Roofing, we believe trust is everything and strive to be the company that will do everything we can to live up to our contracts.
There are multiple steps required from the time a contract is signed and when a new system can be turned on. Unlike other installers who will require most, if not, all of the payment up front, at Palomar, we normally require only a $1,000 deposit when the contract is signed. You pay the full balance only once the system is approved and turned on. This means you can enjoy the peace-of-mind that you’re not paying for a system and the utility at the same time.