Free solar panels – are they some new marketing technique, a government-funded initiative, or just a brand-new way to mislead customers?
Well, they are a product innovation that makes solar panels accessible and affordable for a broader range of homeowners.
And, before you get your hopes up too much, let us clarify one thing: free solar panels “aren’t” entirely free, but they’re the next best thing to free.
For many Connecticut homeowners, free solar panels could be the perfect home solar solution they might be looking for.
Truth Behind Free Solar Panels in CT
When solar companies advertise free solar panels, they’re essentially referring to solar leases or power purchase arrangements (PPA). As part of these arrangements, the customer doesn’t make a one-time purchase of their solar installation. Instead, they make a nominal monthly payment to the solar company (or a solar financing company) each month.
Since there’s hardly any upfront cash outflow at the time of installation, these arrangements are advertised as free solar panels, although the customer pays for the solar panels in monthly installments.
How Much Do Customers Pay?
There’s usually no payment at the time of purchase. In this respect, it’s quite similar to a zero-down-payment solar loan. However, unlike solar loans, the lease or PPA agreements do not come with fixed monthly payments. They are determined by your monthly power consumption.
Essentially, you will be paying the solar company for using the solar power generated by your home solar solution. If you use less power, you pay less, and vice versa.
An interesting aspect here is that the customer does not “own” the solar panels. The solar company or the financer owns them and, therefore, gets all the government incentives that come with them.
Lower Prices for Years to Come
You’re probably wondering why you should even bother with free solar panels, since they require you to pay for your solar power usage, just like your current utility plan does.
Well, the answer is quite brilliant. For one, the rate at which your solar power bill is calculated will be significantly lower than what’s levied by your utility company in CT.
Secondly, you get to lock in those rates for several years to come. During this time, the utility company’s electricity rates will keep increasing unabated (like they always do), while you keep paying the same rate for your power usage to the solar company.
Solar leases and PPA arrangements allow you to pay less for your power usage each month, which will save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your solar solution. And, you don’t pay a dime for purchasing the solar panels. Isn’t that just sweet?