We've always been interested in solar energy for our home. We live in California, the land of almost eternal sunshine, so how could it not make sense? Ten years ago we considered having solar panels installed when we had a second floor built onto our ranch house, but the cost at the time was a deal breaker. On top of all our other construction costs, it was just too much for us, so we regretfully put it on the shelf along with our other "homeowner projects we'd like to pursue".
Ten years later, we found ourselves revisiting the subject. Alfie's car is almost 20 years old, and it's on its last legs. While researching possible replacements, we spoke with a friend who is leasing an electric vehicle. Our friend also has solar panels in their home, so their cost to run the car is just like the cost of their electricity bill -- next to nothing (at least, compared with ours!).
Even though the cost of solar power has gone down dramatically, the cost to own solar panels is still significant (my friend said theirs cost about $25k, which is actually on the low side of typical purchase prices today, which can range between $18k and $40k). That's still a big OUCH in our budget.
But what I didn't know, until our friend told me about it, is that homeowners can now actually lease solar panels instead of purchasing them. Solar services like Sunrun install solar panels on your roof, and you lock in a fixed rate for the solar energy over a long-term lease period. Sunrun owns, installs, and maintains the panels, so there's no upfront cost or maintenance cost for you! Sunrun's business model lets them dispel many of the commonly held misconceptions about solar power, such as:
Misconception: "Solar is expensive and has a high upfront cost."
Reality: With Sunrun solar leasing, homeowners can get solar on their roof for as little as $0 down and start saving on their monthly electricity costs immediately.
Misconception: "Solar is complicated and out of reach."
Reality: Solar service providers like Sunrun take care of all of the details of going solar, from designing the system, installing it on your roof, monitoring the system's production, and maintaining the system throughout the lifetime of the solar service agreement.
Misconception: "Solar energy is more expensive than the electricity my utility provides."
Reality: If Sunrun doesn't think they can save you money, they won't sell you a system.
I also came up with a fourth misconception, which I think is very important:
Misconception: "Purchasing your own solar panels is always better than getting a solar lease, because you get tax credits"
Reality: Some people do not pay enough in federal or state taxes to benefit from the federal investment tax credits resulting from purchasing your own solar power system. That's why it's so important to do your research or consult a tax professional in order to determine whether you could actually receive any potential tax benefits!
Essentially, they are like a solar power utility company, right up on your roof. It's a great way for homeowners to enjoy clean electricity at lower costs, right away, without upfront costs! It looks like the time is ripe for us to take a new look at home solar energy.....
Get a $500 Visa Gift Card when you sign up with SunrunWe have a special offer for Bonggamom Finds readers. If you go solar with Sunrun before Nov. 30, you'll get a $500 VISA® Prepaid Card. (Conditions apply.) Get a free solar quote here.
Disclosure: Information in italics was provided by Sunrun. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.