Over the last 5 years, thousands of solar companies have popped up across the nation. With increased competition in all markets, the price of solar has dropped to an all-time low, making it a viable investment for many homeowners who could not previously afford solar. While this is fantastic news for the majority of Americans, it creates a larger underlying problem.
The overall prices for solar panels may be cheaper, but each solar company promotes their product in a special way making it difficult for the consumer to know who actually offers the best option for their current situation. Many homeowners are tricked by companies offering confusing promotions for “FREE” solar and end up wasting their time or even money by signing contracts they don’t fully understand.
Are Offerings for Free Solar Really Free?
When Americans hear the word free, it sparks interest, curiosity, and doubt. Is anything ever really free? Without getting super philosophical, we all know that products that are advertised as free usually have some sort of catch. Unfortunately, solar panels are never free. Because of a high manufacturing cost and the need for an expert to design and install a system, the average American household would need to invest about $15,000-$20,000, the cost of a 17-panel, 5 kW solar system, in order to generate enough electricity to power their entire home.
This means that there is really no profitable way for a solar company to offer an entirely free solar system to a homeowner. So, if you ever see a promotion for “free” solar, make sure to ask questions and research in order to truly understand what “free” means to that company.
What Free Solar Might Actually Mean…
For most companies, free solar simply means some kind of price reduction to the overall cost of going solar. For example, the majority of solar companies offer financing options that allow homeowners to avoid all upfront costs and payments. Although it may be a great way to sweeten the pot for curious homeowners, those initial design and installment costs are just pushed back to later payments.
Other companies take this tactic one step further and label that their customers get solar for the first 6 to 12 months free, when in reality those 6 to 12 months of free solar will also be pushed back to a later date, and in many cases at a higher cost because of accrued interest.
Thus, all prospective solar customers must be careful when it comes to any initial incentives.
Another tactic many large solar companies use to convince homeowners that going solar can be free is by offering a power purchase agreement (PPA) or a leasing deal. In both of these options, homeowners get a brand-new solar system on their roof for no upfront or long-term cost. However, there is a large downside to these too-good-to-be-true solar deals. When a homeowner leases solar panels, they don’t actually own the panels or the power that they create. The solar company holds the rights to the panels and sells back the energy that they create to the homeowner at a fixed rate.
Unfortunately, these “free” deals leave homeowners high and dry because the solar company reaps in all the benefits of going solar (like the 26% federal tax credit and any other local incentives) and controls the price of the power generated from the homeowner’s panels as they wish. On top of that, many PPA’s require the homeowner to purchase all of the power the solar panels produce, even if that is more power than they need.
Owning Solar is the Key to Accessing Free Electricity!
As you can see, free solar just doesn’t exist, but there are ways to unlock free electricity. Homeowners who skip the PPA and leasing deals can own their panels and gain access to maximum savings when it comes to going solar. With a proper design, a high-quality solar system is meant to cover all the electricity costs every month.
Thus, the majority of homeowners who own their panels can get away with monthly power bills that only include a small $5-$10 connection fee. This fee allows customers to stay connected to the grid in case their panels underperform or stop functioning as well as allows homeowners to participate in net-metering. Net-metering gives solar owners the ability to sell back unused electricity to their utility company for energy credits that can be used during less sunny months. In some states, homeowners with solar can make money off of excess energy, making solar an extremely valuable home improvement.
Along with net-metering, solar panel ownership gives homeowners access to all federal and local clean energy incentives. For example, the government offers a Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) that allows all tax paying homeowners to receive a tax credit worth up to 26% of the cost of all the solar expenditures (including necessary home repairs to become solar-ready). This incentive can help homeowners save thousands on the cost of their overall system, making it significantly easier to pay off in the long run.
Unfortunately, this tax credit will drop to 22% in 2021 and will no longer be available in 2022. Thus, homeowners should act quickly if they are considering solar! The ITC, along with statewide or local incentives like net metering or property and sales tax exemptions, can help homeowners save thousands of dollars on their solar system.
To learn more about what solar incentives are available in your state, read our blog post “Your State’s Solar Savings.”
So How Does Blue Raven Solar Make My Electricity Free?
At Blue Raven Solar, we only provide ownership deals, which means our customers get the most value out of their solar panels. With that being said, it is our mission to help homeowners pay off their panels as soon as possible because when they own their panels, they own their electricity. We do this by helping our customers understand how our financing programs work as well as helping them know and take advantage of any local or federal solar benefits.
One of the greatest aspects of going solar with us is our BluePower+ financing program. If a customer is unable to pay the entire cost of the solar panels from the get-go, we have set up a financing program in which we cover our customer’s first 18 months of loan payments.
Yes, you read that right! Each month our customers receive a check that they can apply directly to cover the entirety of their monthly solar loan payment. This means that our customers will not have to postpone the payment of those months plus interest, but rather start saving hundreds from day one of their solar journey. By combining the 18 months of solar loan payments covered by Blue Raven Solar with the huge savings opportunity from the Federal Income Tax Credit, Blue Raven customers can have more than 33% of their system covered without having to put a dollar of their own money down.
If these incentives aren’t satisfying enough, we also guarantee world class service throughout the solar journey, which means the customer’s priorities always come first. Our sales representatives, solar system designers, installers, and customer service representatives are all part of the same team working together to give our customers the best solar experience possible!
That means our customers just have to sit back and relax as we take care of every aspect of their new solar system. Even after a system is installed, the customer is still a part of the Blue Raven family.
For example, if a system doesn’t live up to our projections, our energy production guarantees will kick in, and we’ll provide the necessary solar panels to get that system to the numbers promised. Also, all of our panels come with a 25-year warranty and each solar system includes a workmanship warranty that covers any defects or errors made during the installation process. All in all, we do our very best to make each and every customer happy throughout their entire solar journey.
How to Start on Your Journey to Free Electricity
If you’ve made it this far in the post, you might be thinking: well what’s the catch with Blue Raven Solar? Are there hidden fees? Or any other downsides? We promise that there are no hidden fees, low-quality material, or scams. We have an A+ rating on the BBB and thousands of 5-star reviews to back up our claims of being the best solar company around.
We do know that solar isn’t right for every American household, which is why we offer a free consultation with one of our solar specialists to help you determine if solar is a great investment for you!
Simply click on the link below, fill in your basic information, and we’ll reach out to you to schedule an appointment to answer any of your solar questions and help you determine if solar is a good fit!