I started working in the solar industry 6 months ago with no prior knowledge to solar other than that a homeowner can get a free solar system if they have a high enough payment history and roof with enough sunlight. After working in this industry I realized something exciting, but also sad – almost nobody knows this. Spend a day going door to door offering solar at no cost to people and you will learn that the word solar is only slightly less loaded than the name Donald Trump. Homeowners get phone calls from people telling them they can save $200 off of their $100 bill, salesmen come by promising solar at no cost only to find out it’s not true, and homeowners have been given quotes that are twice the price of a system their size. All of this has unfortunately turned off the majority of people from solar, people who actually could save at no cost, but the good news is that once the truth comes out we will have a healthier state and economy.
Most people understand the basics of solar – you make an investment into a solar system to one day break-even and never have to pay for electricity again or you lease it and receive a reduced bill. However this leaves an enormous gap of homeowners out there that have perfect roofs for a solar system but would never get one if a lease or a buy were the only 2 options. With a lease it puts a lien on your property which makes selling your home difficult and buying a system could take 5-10 years to see a return on investment. It is understandable why those who want to go green can not financially do so with these 2 options.
“So then why is so much solar popping up around my neighborhood? I know not everyone is hitting the lottery.” This is true – the good news is in recent years, the power purchase with renewable electricity has been perfected which solves each of the buy and lease issues. What is a power purchase? It is exactly what you have now with your local utility provider; You need not buy their power lines, grid system, or maintenance of them to get their electricity, you ONLY buy their electricity. Now homeowners in California can do the same thing, a power purchase, with renewable equipment and pay rates anywhere from 30-50% lower than what their local utility providers charge them! This means not a penny comes out of your pocket for the technology, and if you move you simply switch the names on the bill as you normally would, and then you get to use clean energy at around half the price. The thing is, as I mentioned above, very few, if any people know that this is possible for them. As a field consultant, I find homes that would be a good fit for solar and let the owners know about this. Most people are very receptive once they see everything in writing and learn how it works, but many people unfortunately eliminate themselves from any savings and contribution to pollution depletion because they do not believe it. “If it is so good, why isn’t everyone doing it?” And here we are, the start of a clean energy revolution that simply takes time to grow. Every day, dozens and sometimes hundreds of homes are being set up with a solar system that the homeowner did not pay anything for and are now receiving clean energy for about half of the price they were previously paying. It’s a beautiful thing. How is this all possible? There is 2 main reasons:
- Technology is here now! Solar panels are a technology, not a fuel, so the electricity comes to us and not the
other way around. Since utility companies are only a natural monopoly, not a true monopoly, and the cost of fracking, refining oil, and transporting electricity hundreds of miles can not compete with converting energy directly from the sun and into your house via photovoltaic cells, solar companies are allowed to become your new electricity provider!
- Government. It is not only legal in California, but incentivized to get renewable electricity. In California, solar companies get a 30% state tax rebate plus a 30% federal tax rebate on every solar system they install, plus the financier, Clean Power, pays any remaining costs for people to go solar. However there are many states that do not give tax breaks for renewable energy and even prohibit a homeowner from getting credit for the electricity their solar produces, which means that they can not see their true savings with solar since the main utility company is the only one that is allowed to sell power to others. In this past election Florida legalized solar power production credits but the utility companies were nearly able to make it outlawed by paying millions of dollars to lobbyists to make the wording on the ballot trick residents into voting against it.
This brings me back to my main point, which is that if you are not utilizing clean energy through proven, modern technology, you are overpaying for a bill that you can never cancel! Find out if you are eligible for a renewable energy system, help the environment, and save money – for free.
Sungrade Regional Manager