Solar panel prices are dropping and they’re expected to drop even more in the next few years. There are a number of reasons why & we’ve narrowed them down to the essentials.
1. Made in China. Yes that’s right, there’s competition out there from an international market that came onto the scene a few years back. Opening many factories, and dropping the prices on the market significantly, where they’ve stayed.
2. Faster installations. Now that companies have created a new installation method with few contact points, panels are clicking together & into place; what used to take 2 days to install now only takes a half day in most cases. Yes, you read this right! Around 4 hours for a basic home installation.
3. Creative financing. In some companies you can put $0 down when signing for their financed installations. The solar provider is the owner of the solar system if you choose a lease or PPA (Power Purchase Agreements), and have the right to give incentives, rebates, refunds and cash credits (including SRECs).
Now as sad as it is to admit, according to statistics from SolarCentury, 65% of homeowner have aesthetic concerns in regards to solar paneling, 96% of homeowners want to see the savings, & 81% do want their homes to be more eco-friendly. The good news? They are officially creating flush solar panels that create a seamless look (exclusively at Solarcity.com). They even implement weather guards as part of your installation to prevent water damage and protection against high winds.
There are pro’s and con’s to leasing from some solar companies, and though cash purchases of solar systems are cheaper in the long run, most homeowners cannot afford it. Companies like SolarCity, SunRun, Sungevity, SunPower and Real Goods Solar are all contending for your business, which not only is great for the environment, but can also bring you a lot of savings. Cutting electric bills nearly in half either with (fixed, escalating or de-escalating) monthly bills for leasing or PPA’s . Here’s a breakdown of the differences between a solar lease or a PPA.
- Solar Lease. These leases are like leasing a car, for instance. You pay a monthly bill to lease the equipment. In some cases, you can even pre-pay the entire lease up-front, or a portion (down payment).
- PPA (Power Purchase Agreements). This is the most popular approach. These agreements are very similar to a solar lease, difference being you’re paying a fixed cost per kWh (Kilowatt-hours) for the duration of the PPA.
The leases/PPA’s last anywhere from 10-20 years and can be even transfer over if and when you sell a home. The companies provide installation, monitoring, and maintenance through the duration of you contract. These new advances in solar power are giving many homeowners much satisfaction when it comes to saving. The question is, will that homeowner be you? I think 2015 is the year to make solar power a part of your life.
Written by: 50 Plus Report Editorial Team
Sources: www.solarcity.com, www.energyinformative.org, www.npr.org, www.treehugger.com