Over the last few years, hundreds of solar companies have popped up across the nation, each with their own promotions and claims. With increased competition in all markets, the price of solar has dropped, making it a viable investment for many homeowners, and some solar companies brag their customers get “free electricity.” But what does that mean?
The overall price of solar panels may be cheaper, but each solar company promotes their product in a special way making it difficult to know who offers the best option. 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 might not fully understand or have all necessary information on.
Are Offerings for “Free” Solar really Free?
When Americans hear the word “free,” it sparks interest, curiosity, and, of course, doubt. Is anything ever free? Without getting too philosophical, we know products 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 to have enough panels and wattage to generate electricity to power their home.
There is no feasible 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, ask questions and research it to understand what “free” means because it will likely affect you financially.
What “Free Solar” might actually mean…
For most companies, “free solar” simply means price reduction to the overall cost of going solar. For example, most solar companies offer financing options allowing homeowners to avoid upfront costs and payments. Although it may be a great way to sweeten the deal for curious homeowners, those initial design and installment costs are typically rolled into later payments. You will likely still have high interest rates making the process even more expensive.
Other companies take this tactic one step further. They promote their customers get solar free for the first 6 to 12 months, when the cost of those first few months to a year will 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 going solar can be free is by offering a power purchase agreement (PPA) or a leasing deal. In both options, homeowners get a brand-new solar system on their roof with no upfront or long-term costs. However, there is a large downside to these solar deals. When a homeowner leases solar panels, they do not actually own the panels or the power they create. The solar company holds the right to the solar panels and sell back the energy they create to the homeowner at a fixed rate.
Unfortunately, these “free” leasing and PPA deals leave homeowners high and dry because the solar company reaps all the benefits of going solar (like the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit and any other state or local incentives) and controls the price of the power generated from the panels. Many PPAs require the homeowner to purchase all of the power the solar panels produce, even if it is more power than they need, so any net metering policies will also only benefit the solar company.
Owning Solar is the Key to Accessing Free Electricity
“Free” solar does not 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. With a proper design, a high-quality solar system is meant to cover all electricity costs each month.
Many homeowners who own their solar panels can get away with monthly power bills only including a small $5-$10 connection fee. By going solar, it brings your total monthly cost down. This small connection fee allows customers to stay connected to the grid in case their panels underperform or stop functioning as well as allow homeowners to participate in net metering. Most states offer net metering programs, which gives solar owners the ability to sell back unused electricity to their utility company for energy credits to be used during less sunny months. With some utility companies, homeowners with solar can make money off excess energy, making solar an extremely valuable home improvement.
Solar panel ownership gives homeowners access to all federal, state, and local clean energy incentives. For example, the government offers a Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allowing all tax paying homeowners to receive a tax credit worth up to 30% 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.
To learn more about what solar incentives are available in your state, read “Your State’s Solar Savings.”
How does Blue Raven Solar make my Electricity Free?
At Blue Raven Solar, we provide ownership deals, meaning our customers get the most value out of their solar panels. We want to help homeowners pay off their panels quickly. When homeowners own their panels, they own their electricity. We help our customers understand how our exclusive financing programs work as well as let them know how to take advantage of any local or federal benefits.
One of the greatest aspects of going solar with us is our BluePower Plus+ and SmartStart financing programs. If a customer is unable to pay the entire cost of the solar panels from the beginning, we have created a financing program to cover the first 18 months of the loan payments. Each month our customers receive a check that they can apply directly to their monthly solar loan payment. Combining 18 months of solar loan payments covered by Blue Raven Solar with the ITC, Blue Raven customers can have more than a third of their system covered without having to put a dollar of their own money down.
If these incentives are not satisfying enough, we also strive to deliver a 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 staff are all part of in-house teams, working together to give our customers the best solar experience.
We are committed to bringing our customers the best products and services.
Sit back and relax as we take care of every aspect of your new solar system. Once a system is installed, you continue to be a part of the Blue Raven Solar family. If a system does not live up to our original projections, our energy production guarantees ensure we will provide the necessary solar panels to get the system to the production promised at no extra cost for the first two full years. Also, all our panels come with a 25-year warranty and each solar system includes a workmanship warranty covering any defects or errors made during the installation process. We do our very best to make every customer happy.
How to Get Started on Your Solar Journey
You might be thinking: well, what is the catch with Blue Raven Solar? Are there hidden fees? Are they any different than the other companies who claim to have “free” solar?
We promise there are no hidden fees, low-quality material, or scams. We have thousands of 5-star reviews to back up our claims of being the best residential solar company. Our financing products were created with the sole purpose of making solar installations more affordable for homeowners of all types, so when we say “free,” we mean it: FREE.
We offer a free consultation with one of our solar specialists to help you determine if solar is the right investment for you. From there, use satellite imaging to measure how much sunlight your roof receives, and our on-site experts will look at your roof. Those factors (among others) can help our team give you the best quote, and if we conclude solar is not a good idea for your home, we will let you know.
If you want to join the solar movement and experience the future of energy today, submit your contact information and we will reach out to you.