When it comes to photovoltaic installations, tax incentives and rebates help drive your initial costs down, but PPAs will eliminate them significantly, if not altogether. PPAs consist of leasing programs where you don’t own your panels outright. Instead, you’ll buy your electricity from the company that finances the installation and maintains the panels.
It’s a common scenario with corporations and commercial clients, and it’s becoming a more widespread residential reality as well. To get a sense of residential PPAs available to you, here are four of the major solar leasing companies.
Sun Run’s PPA program will pay over 50 percent of the upfront cost of your panels, the future costs for parts, labor, and maintenance. In addition to the up-front payment you’re responsible for, you pay a monthly fee for the electricity the system generates.
Sungevity‘s Solar Lease is unique because it allows you to go solar immediately. With no money down, Sungevity designs, installs and leases a solar power system to you for a low monthly rate. The beauty is that you’re saving money from day one, rather than waiting 10-20 years for the system to pay off.
As an added incentive, the company guarantees exactly how much your system will produce throughout the year, and if it doesn’t meet those goals, Sungevity will you pay you the difference. They also monitor, maintain and insure your solar system for the entire lease agreement.
SolarCity offers a financing plan that brings your initial investment down from over $20,000 to $3,000 or less. In addition, customers can enjoy a locked in price for electricity over several years. The company will also maintain the system for free, replacing parts if necessary.
Helio mU will finance, install, own, and operate a solar energy system on your property with no initial capital investment. It based on a long-term PPA, billing you monthly for the electrical output of your system per kWh.
Don’t forget to check for PPA programs available through your city or utility company. To find more about another financing option, check out our article on solar loans. And thanks to our reader, Brain Lip, who sent the following helpful link: To cut price, SolarCity leases solar panels.
When you’re ready to purchase solar panels of your own, don’t forget to contact CalFinder Solar to be connected with certified installers in your area. Our referral service to homeowners is free!
Photo Credit: Edmund Tse via Flickr CC