Solar panels for home cost less than most people think, all things considered. That said, the financial realities of going solar are yet to be explained in their entirety.
The purpose of this post is to educate residential solar prospects about the financial realities of solar—and with an unbiased approach.
Just the stuff you need to know and nothing else.
Leasing vs. Buying Solar Panels for Your Home: A Breakdown
There are two primary methods of cost when it comes to using solar panels for your home—leasing solar panels or buying.
A Lease or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) Is an Option, But Not a Great One
Today’s culture is one of instant gratification and delayed discomfort: If something costs more than $1,000, behavioral economists have told us that purchase decisions will follow that precept accordingly.
So, when it comes to the cost of solar panels for home, many people opt in to leasing a system when they could merely purchase it with fewer restraints and downfalls. Leasing a solar system for your home means less or no tax credit incentives, no increase in home resale value, and sometimes an adjustable rate.
And, once you lease solar panels, they’re hard to transfer to a new owner. Additionally, leasing a system usually means that it the existing set can’t be as tailored to your own rooftop, its pitch, and the surrounding shading of your home.
It’s the equivalent of Shaquille O’Neal trying to wear a pair of kids’ Sketchers or Yoda lacing up a pair of size 13 kicks. It probably just isn’t going to work.
With a solar lease, you also don’t get an additional increase in your property value as you don’t own the very panels powering your home. Additionally, the company leasing you the panels will get free energy production, but you won’t be so lucky.
Why Buying Solar Panels is the Best Option
This option gives you specific benefits:
- A fixed payment for only 10-12 years
- Over 80% free solar energy for every year you use the system
- Property value appreciation
- A more sellable property: Recent research conducted by the Department of Energy shows that people are willing to pay more money for homes powered by solar panels
- You will be able to take advantage of your state’s existing tax credits equal to as much as 30% of the solar panels’ cost
- If you have a home equity loan, you are eligible for a lower interest rate on your loan
- You are going to receive power even when the grid goes down
- If you buy from the Go Solar Group, you get free battery backup
Solar Warranties Will Vary, and Not All Are Created Equal
A warranty is a huge financial component and risk consolidator of leasing or buying solar panels for your home. The cost of home solar panels should never be considered independent of the installer’s service and installation warranties.
The Installation Warranty
Photovoltaic solar modules usually come with anywhere from a 20 to 25-year installation warranty, which means that they will be replaced if they produce less than a certain threshold of power needed for your home.
This warranty isn’t based on an arbitrary figure as most solar panels have a 25 to 30-year lifespan. The figures will vary, but the warranties will differ from 80-85%.
The Service Warranty
Service warranties, although a big part of the financial consideration you’ll have to make when choosing which solar provider to buy from, aren’t as necessary as many may think. Most solar panels are extremely durable and rarely need any kind of maintenance or fixing.
Service warranties should also carry weight in your decision to buy solar panels for your home.
A 10-year service warranty, which includes fixing damage to panels. If a golfer slices a ball straight into your panels or a large piece of hail puts a dent in the solar array, the service warranty will help fix these issues.
You Don’t Have to Finance the System, But Most People Do
Many companies give their customers a discount for paying in cash for a system (Go Solar will give 10% price decrease for those who pay with cash), but we understand that this can sometimes be a big bullet to bite.
However, as is the case with anything, it’s always best to pay for something up-front and without interest. Otherwise, you’re paying for more than any system costs given its deteriorating value.
But this shouldn’t be cause for concern: solar panels do not depreciate at anywhere near the rate of new cars.
Instances Where Solar Could Cost More than Expected
There are rare instances that unexpectedly increase the cost of solar panels for one’s home. For instance, if you have a main breaker that is not big enough to add solar, that may raise the price a bit. Additionally, outdated wiring in a home can make solar panels cost a bit more.
Why Can’t I Get an Immediate Quote? “Are Solar Companies Hiding Something from Me?
Because your home and you are a special snowflake, and we do not mean that with even the slightest tinge of sarcasm.
Seriously, every home will have a slightly different cost. And this isn’t just as it pertains to the roofing, shading, and other items. It should also be factored into electricity usage.
Solar site assessment tools like Azimuth help solar consultants and electricians figure out the intricacies of each home’s position under the sun, and how energy generation in the home can be made more efficient with careful planning and strategy.
So, although up-front prices for home solar installations are rarely given figures, it doesn’t mean the companies are trying to hide anything from you. It simply means every home and solar need is different, and for a broad array of reasons.
Until Solar Panels Do Us Apart
Spousal disagreements do arise over solar. Wives like the way the house looks as is, husbands hate the way their electricity bill looks as is.
Sometimes the aesthetic and financial concerns are reversed from man to woman, and, sometimes, a couple will see eye-to-eye.
Just be ready to make a solid case for solar to your partner by being prepared to answer these solar FAQs.