No Cost Solar Programs in New Mexico

New Mexico Solar Incentives
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New Mexico No Cost Solar Programs

Installing solar on your New Mexico home is a sizable investment with returns as certain as the sun rising the following morning. While there are many incentives and prices are still low, the residential solar investment for New Mexico homeowners still requires a healthy financial profile.

Many unscrupulous New Mexico solar companies will attempt to draw in new customers by promising free solar panels. However, as the common saying goes, there is no such thing as “free,” and this is especially true when it comes to solar panels and their accompanying technologies like battery backup, smart home technologies, and portable solar products.

“No-Cost” Solar Programs in New Mexico

While there is no such thing as free solar panels, there are some programs that are advertised as “no-cost solar.” These programs will usually explain themselves as providing free panels to homeowners, with the homeowner then agreeing to purchase the cheap solar energy produced by said panels. 

Why “Free” Solar Panels Aren’t Actually Free

The installation of solar panels on your roof might have no upfront cost, but that doesn’t mean that they’re free. In fact, it usually means that the real costs of your solar installation are hidden in the details. The costs are often not apparent upfront, which is why it’s important to understand them before signing a contract.

You Still Have To Pay for Your Power

Purchasing solar can help remove your power bill completely. While you will have a monthly payment on your solar array until it’s paid off, once it is paid off you will likely no longer have to worry about paying for electricity. A good net metering policy can remove your power bill completely. While purchasing solar electricity each month may be cheaper than going through a large utility company that relies on fossil fuels, you still have to pay each month for as long as you have a contract. Unlike purchasing a solar installation, there will never be an end to your power bill. However, this is an option for those who rent.

You’re Locked-In to Your Panels

Generally speaking, “no-cost” solar panels come with contracts that keep them on your roof for years. These contracts can sometimes last more than a decade. You will not have a choice in removing the panels from your roof, unless you choose to pay a hefty cancellation fee. If you’re choosing to sell your home, you also have to get the buyer to agree to take on your contract unless you’re willing to pay the cancellation fee. Houses with “no-cost” solar panels on them are often much harder to sell. Homes with purchased solar panels, on the other hand, tend to be easier to sell and also sell for more money. 

Understanding Purchased Rooftop Solar

Purchasing solar panels for your roof is a particularly attractive option for New Mexico residents. New Mexico has a very strong slate of solar incentives which slash the price of going solar. On average, these incentives will save you more money than going with “no-cost” solar panels. 

Tax Credits Available to New Mexico Homeowners

Tax credits are the main way for New Mexico residents to save money on going solar. Luckily, there are both federal and state-level incentives to benefit from.

The Federal Solar Tax Credit

The federal solar tax credit is the biggest way for you to save. The tax credit is currently worth 26 percent of the total cost of your solar array, which is then applied to your federal income taxes. This tax credit can cover a big portion of your solar costs.

The New Mexico Solar Tax Credit

New Mexico has a very similar tax credit to the federal one. This credit applies to your state income taxes. However, it caps out at $6,000 or 10 percent of the cost, whichever is lower. 

The New Mexico Property Tax Exemption

Finally, New Mexico also offers an exemption for any increase in property value that your home might get from solar. This exemption starts small, but if it goes for the entire length of a typical solar panel’s lifespan, it will save more than a thousand dollars. 

Advantages of Purchased Solar Over “No-Cost” Solar

As we can see, there’s no such thing as free solar panels. While purchasing solar electricity is one way for non-homeowners to contribute to clean energy, New Mexico homeowners should consider the savings of purchasing solar over the costs of “no-cost” solar. No-cost solar panels come with many hidden downsides. Oftentimes these downsides aren’t told to the homeowner before they sign the contract. Sometimes, unscrupulous solar companies will try to pressure you into signing up for “free” solar panels at your doorstep. Be sure to never sign up for anything before you’ve read the contract.

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