Your Resource For Understanding What Is Meant By Free Solar Panels
What is meant by Free?
When we talk about free it should be pretty clear you get something for nothing right?
Well if you really think about things it’s not always that simple.
How often is it that what you consider free comes to you with absolutely no effort on your part? Meaning it shows up on your door step without any effort on your part what so ever. That would be truly free but that almost never happens.
Most of the time what we consider to be free requires some effort on our part, we have to hunt for, dig it out of somewhere, fix it up or wait for that rebate to come in or find the offer and go out of our way to get it. Very rarely do you get something that you don’t have to spend any time, money or energy on before it’s all said and done. As you have probably guessed it isn’t that straight forward when talking about free solar panels, or free solar power either.
What about solar is truly free?
Solar energy is truly free energy
The sun is the main energy source for the entire planet, it is steady and consistent. So if there was anything that is truly free, it is Solar Energy.
This is the energy that rains down on us every day, we get it whether we want to or not, whether we think about it or not and in most cases it’s when you’ve had enough of it and don’t want any more is when you have to pay. You build a shelter, or have an air conditioner put in or whatever. Solar energy is also responsible for wind power, hydro power, and even plants are a form of stored solar energy.
Solar Power on the other hand is not so free.
Solar Power is when we harness Solar Energy in some way to get some work done, and get it to do what we want it to do. There are a number of ways that this can be achieved but in the strictest definition this will never be free like the energy itself is free. You have to put thought into how to get power from solar energy. The time you invest is worth something, after all we all know time is money. If you spend time it’s the same as spending money. So the moment you invest any time, money, or effort you have already precluded that project from truly being free.
With that being said solar power still has huge advantages over other conventional systems. Especially when compared to gas and oil. Gas and oil are essentially stored solar energy that was collected log ago and has been concentrated over time. So this is where the energy is, and as well all know these fuels have been considered for a long time to be the cheapest and most reliable source of energy.
However today it’s not cheap to get this energy. You have to find it, drill for it, pump it, package it, ship it, store it, and then finally burn it at which point you get the power you are looking for. Unlike Solar Energy which is free, Gas and oil costs money. Then you need to buy the devise to covert this fuel into power so you can get some work done.
With solar power, the energy you need isn’t cheap it’s free the cost only comes in to play when you are buying the equipment to turn that free energy into solar power so you can use it to do some work. Image that gas was a free energy source and all you had to pay for was the gas powered generator that would be pretty sweat. Our costs to power and heat our homes would be next to nothing. You would only have the setup and maintenance of your system that catches that free solar energy.
This is where solar power is heading, or should I say it’s pretty much here, the only issue at the moment is that the set up cost of a solar power system is more expensive than your oil powered one.
This is where the idea of Free Solar Panels comes in. When we talk about free here what we are really saying is that on a monthly basis it will not cost you any more than what you are currently paying every month right now. So after everything is worked out you added solar panels to your home and it hasn’t raised your monthly bills at all. What you are currently paying out every month will stay the same or be less. Some people may not agree with this analogy 100% but this is the heart of what we are talking about with the free solar panel programs.
The main program that has every one asking about free solar panels is the Power Purchase Agreement or Solar Lease programs. These programs allow you to get solar panels installed on your home for absolutely no cost to you. You in turn lower your cost for electricity every month. So you have solar panels on your home that you did not pay for and you save money every month not a bad deal. As some people point out, you do not actually own the solar panels. But you did get them setup for free and every month it saves you money.
Another way of looking at things is like this.
If you bought something for $100 and it has a $100 mail rebate would you consider the item to be free? A lot of people would. You’re spending $100 to get something but you have a promise that you will get all your money back. When you do that item didn’t const you anything. So with that in mind let’s look at a couple other ways to get Solar Panels for Free.
Paying for free solar panels
What? I’m going to pay for solar panels but you still consider them being free? That doesn’t seem to make sense? It does if you consider our example and look at all the angles when going with Solar Panels.
If you pay for a solar panel setup out right it’s like putting money in an investment instead of spending it. Why, because the value of your home increases almost dollar for dollar with the cost of solar power setup. In many cases if you apply the government tax credit, state tax credits and other incentives, plus the fact that in many areas people end up selling power they are producing back to the grid. your home is likely to gain more value than that actually cost to you to setup the solar power array to begin with. Imagine going to put money into a bank CD for 10 years but they tell you that if you buy a $10,000 CD they will make it a $15,000 CD as soon as you put your money in. That would be great.
So just like our example, you paid for something and now you have the promise of getting all the money back at a later date. When you get all the money back, then what you purchased will not have cost you anything, or you could say you got it for free.
Paying for solar panels outright has other benefits to.
When you setup a solar power system your goal is obviously to eliminate you electric bill. So with no electric bill that is an immediate monthly return on you investment. Just this savings itself will eventually pay for the out of pocket expense. In Some areas the return on your investment happens in as little as 4 years!
Your return on investment varies a lot from place to place based on the cost of the system and how much you were paying for electricity. The return however should be between 4 and 15 years.
What if I can’t purchase solar panels outright?
If you can’t put down the cash to purchase solar panels outright that’s fine. Being able to pay for solar panels outright would be the best solution but there are other ways. The next best option is to get a home improvement loan. The only thing to really keep in mind is that you want to make sure that your home improvement loan payment will be no more than what you are currently paying for electricity. Again we are tying to have this end up costing you less than what you have been paying every month for electricity, in the best case you want to be paying less. If you can do this then it really is a n brainer. Trade your electric bill for a lower fixed loan payment that will increase the value of your home and eventually you won’t have the payment at all, so there will be additional saving.
Like above, your home will have increased in value and with a lower monthly payment than what you were paying the electric company you will still start seeing an immediate saving. Then when your loan is paid off this saving will be that much more. And of course don’t forget electric rates are going to keep going up so the amount of savings will see every month also go up.
Once again, you got solar panels setup and running for no more than what you are currently paying every month so they didn’t cost any extra. So it’s like you got something for nothing or you got solar panels for free. Now as your loan gets paid off you will increase your monthly savings. Then you still have the possibility to sell power back to the grid or take possibly take advantage of the SCREC Program where you get paid simply for having produced energy with solar power. That’s right your not selling your power you are getting rewarded for having produced your own power.
The solar Power Purchase Agreement
Now the main program that gets solar panels installed, setup and maintained for free is the power purchase agreement or (PPA). If you home qualifies this is by far the easiest simplistic approach to solar power. The company will come and setup solar panels on you roof at no cost to you . Then you agree to purchase power form them for the life of the agreement. There is very little risk to you and you will start saving money immediately.
Profiting from your solar panels.
Now eliminating your electric bill is great but what if you not only eliminate your electric bill. What if you were able to produce a little extra and sell the energy? Now you return is even higher your pay back will be much quicker. You’re now not only saving money but making it. In some areas even if you don’t produce any extra you can still get paid just for having produced energy with clean renewable energy. That’s right you produce power, use all the power but yet you still get paid for doing it. This is for people who live in a SCREC state. A SCREC state is one that is connected with the Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program. See SCREC