Anyone interested in solar energy has to face the cost of solar power sooner or later.
For a while it’s fine to bask in the seemingly magical properties of solar electricity and ponder all the amazing things that it could accomplish in our world, but the cost of solar energy eventually becomes an issue.
Some people like to say that solar power is free, but that’s not exactly true. Solar power fuel (sunlight) is free, but to take advantage of that fuel you need the proper equipment (and that equipment can get pretty expensive!).
The bottom line is that the cost of installing solar panels is significant. If you’re thinking about installing solar panels that will provide all of your electricity you’ll probably be looking at an initial investment of tens of thousands of dollars.
Those kind of numbers can cause what’s called ‘Solar Power Sticker Shock’ and turn people off the idea of getting solar panels installed. This reaction is understandable since many people don’t have tens of thousands of dollars sitting in the bank.
Unfortunately, people might be missing out on some opportunities that would allow them to go solar without breaking the bank. That’s right, there are ways to reduce the cost of solar power and make it more affordable.
Let’s take a look at four of the rebates and financing options that can reduce the cost of solar power and make it fit your budget.
- Grants and Rebates
- People in the United States can check out the DSIRE website to learn about all the grants and rebates available from the federal, state, and municipal governments.
- In some states, rebates and grants can cover more than half the cost of your solar panel system!
- For more information about how you can pay for your solar panels, check out our page on solar financing.
- Solar Leases
- With a solar lease you can pay as you go instead of having a single upfront payment.
- Some of these lease options allow you to pay no money down so you can start saving money immediately.
- For more information about solar leases check out our page on free solar panels
- Group Purchasing
- If you can get organized with other “solar-minded” people in your community you can qualify for group rates and save significant money on your solar installation.
- There are companies like One Block Off The Grid that organize neighborhoods for group discounts or you can do it yourself (As a bonus you’ll probably get to know some of your neighbors a lot better in the process)
- Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs)
- These mortgages allow you to finance a renewable energy project on an existing home or purchase a new energy efficient home
- Up to 100% of energy efficiency improvements are covered
- The size of the loan you are eligible for will depend on the energy savings your solar installation will produce
As you can see, the cure for ‘Solar Power Sticker Shock’ is doing a little research and learning what rebates and financing options work for you.
If you’re still trying to figure out just how much a solar panel installation will set you back, take a look at our page on the cost of solar panels. It will provide you with a good idea of some of the variables involved and let you know which questions you should be asking.