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Can You Actually Get Solar Panels for Free?

December 12, 2023 | Reading Time: 10 minutes

We know there are a lot of ads and scams out there claiming they have a “no cost solar panel program.”

As you already know, nothing in life is free so don’t be fooled, there is a cost included with going solar.

Long term though, there are significant savings.  As electricity prices continue to rise, you’ll never have to pay for borrowed energy again once your system is paid off.

 

Why Solar Companies Advertise “Free” Solar Panels?

Free is everyone’s favorite price,. There are a few ways to make solar power seem “free” to homeowners. This includes giving them financing options with zero money up front.

To avoid falling for a sales tactic and avoid a solar panel scam you should always:

  • Do Your Research
  • Never Give In To High-Pressure Sales Tactics
  • Get A Couple Of Solar Quotes
  • Ask Questions To Get Transparent Answers

There are a couple of options that do include little to no upfront payment when buying solar panels.

 

Solar Lease

Deciding between purchasing or leasing your solar panels is a big decision.

  • By leasing, homeowners can get solar power with no money down solar panels. When leasing solar panels, a homeowner should have a solar contractor complete their installation with no money out of pocket. Since there is no money put down upfront companies may state the service as “free.”
  • With leasing solar the homeowner does not own their rooftop solar or ground mount solar. The solar installer or financiang company will likely charge the homeowner a monthly lease fee.
  • With solar leases you are renting solar panels for the life of your contract. When your contract ends, after 20 or 25 years, you have 3 options.
    • You can buy the solar panels
    • Extend your lease solar program
    • The solar contractor will remove them from your roof

Savings With A Solar Lease

  • With a solar lease you will save money as long as your lease payment is less than your current electricity bill. So there is a savings but by paying a lease your solar panels are no longer free. There are also potential payment escalators that can increase your cost over time.

Lost Savings From A Solar Lease

  • When a homeowner leases a solar panel system they do not get the solar incentives. The solar companies installing the solar panels or the bank financing the solar panels will receive the solar rebates, government funded solar panel program discounts, and federal solar tax credits. This is thousands of dollars of savings a homeowner misses out on and the solar company recoups on the lease.
  • The current federal solar tax credit is 30% of the total price for solar panels. In Massachusetts, the state solar rebate is $1,000 on every solar installation. These federal and state incentives are major discounts on solar panels for homes that are added monthly and lifetime savings.

Does A Solar Lease Equal Free Solar Panels?

There is no money put down upfront for the solar panels but you pay for the electricity every month.

Solar Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA program)

  • A solar power purchasing agreement (PPA) is a solar purchasing option where a solar contractor pays for and installs the solar panels on a home. The solar company owns the panels and there is no money down from the homeowner. The solar installer or bank has no right to the electricity produced. This means the homeowner will receive a credit if they over produce solar energy compared to the electricity they use.
  • The solar installer or financing company benefits from all of the financial incentives. This includes both federal and solar tax credits. The homeowner benefits from no money down and renewable energy at a reduced rate. They also have a reduced responsibility for the solar panels since the solar company is responsible for service and performance.

Does A PPA Loan Equal Free Solar Panels?

There is no money put down upfront for the solar panels but you pay for the electricity every month.

Is There A Free Solar Panel Program?

No.

So if you are asking “Is there a program for free solar panels?” The short is answer is no. There are also no government funded solar panel programs that you can get free solar panels.  “Free” is used because technically you are not paying for the solar panels to be installed but that is because you do not own them. You also still pay for the electiricity every month.

However, there are significant incentives that put money back in homeowner’s pockets when they switch to solar through these options.

At the end of the day. Solar is about having control over your energy costs, without relying on the grid to tell you how much you owe them every month, for the rest of your life.

Give us a call to see if your home is a good fit for solar. We can tell you your price for solar power and give you you control over your energy expenses every month with solar panels for your home. This means no more suprises in your electiricity bill every month and predictable payments throughout the year

This solar quote is actually free with no strings-attached. We are a local solar company that can walk you through all of your options.