It only takes one infomercial gone wrong for most people to come to terms with one simple and undeniable truth. Generally, if an idea, product or offer sounds too good to be true, it is.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean there are no benefits to trying the latest Beachbody workout program or the exciting new kitchen gadget that promises to shave hours of food prep time from your day.
An example of this finds its dwelling right here in New Jersey, where incentives abound for homeowners interested in installing solar panels. Many advertisements claim residents can get “free solar panels” or “get solar panels for free.”
Are solar panels really free?
Technically, no. Nothing is free.
Take, for example, when your local McDonald’s gives out free kiddie cones to children on Tuesdays during the summer. Sure, it’s possible to make it in and out of there without giving in to the toddler who has been demanding chicken nuggets over and over since he recognized the golden arches. But chances are—and McDonald’s is banking on it—you will end up leaving with, at the very least, a Happy Meal.
Free is a buzz word. It gets peoples’ attention and it is doing a disservice to the New Jersey solar power industry.
Yes, you can get solar panels installed on your roof for zero dollars out of pocket. And yes, there are a many benefits to doing so. Not only are you making an environmentally conscious decision to make your home a more comfortable, eco-friendly place to live, but you will also be saving money in the process.
If you choose this option, one of the many options of going solar, you are financing the solar panels, a process that allows you to start receiving the benefits of solar power immediately as you pay a fixed monthly lease or loan payment.
The good news is for the average homeowner, that amount is significantly less expensive than paying the your old electric bill.
Free solar panels from the government
“But I heard you can get free solar panels from the government,” you might be thinking.
Again, nothing is free. The government has a vested interest backing their desire for you to go solar, but they don’t want it bad enough to actually give it away.
However, there are good reasons why New Jersey is considered one of the best states for solar power, including several incentives and tax credits that are state-specific.
In New Jersey, the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) combine with the 30% Federal Tax Credit to make flexible financing programs feasible.
The owner (lender) of the solar system collects the above financial incentives, plus monthly lease payments over a set period of time to offset the costs of installation.
All of those incentives do not equal zero dollars for the lifetime of the solar panels. What they do add up to, however, is a smart investment over the term of home and solar panel ownership.
Do I qualify for free solar panels?
As much as we’d like to say yes, the reality is no. In reality, no one qualifies for free solar panels.
Instead, you may qualify for a $0 down installation, which saves you on the out-of-pocket costs of solar while also helping save you money on energy costs immediately.
- Average monthly electric bill > $100
- Roof space, roof pitch
- Sunlight exposure levels
- Position of your home
- Good credit
To see if your home qualifies for solar, call The Solar Ladies of Delaware Valley Home Eco Tech at (856) 809-2744 or contact us online. The initial call will take approximately 15-minutes.
Your Solar Lady will evaluate satellite images of your roof and sunlight exposure, determine if solar is a good match for your home, and set up a time for an in-home conversation. Call today to save money and build a better more sustainable future.
Just because that Beachbody program didn’t help you miraculously shed 15 pounds in two days doesn’t mean it isn’t without its fair share of benefits.
In the end, the free solar panel debate is akin to financing a car.
You don’t hear car dealerships advertising “free cars,” and for good reason. (It’s crazy enough at McDonald’s on free kiddie cone day!)
At Delaware Valley Home Eco Tech, we pride ourselves on being your solar and green energy savings advocate. We want to make sure that New Jersey homeowners understand the ins and outs of how solar power works, whether it makes sense for their home, and provide alternative solutions when solar does not make financial sense.
We don’t use buzzwords like “free solar panels” in our advertising, marketing, or sales process because we pride ourselves on doing things the right way.
We are local. We believe in giving back to the community in everything we do. And we are here to help you make an informed, educated financial decision not just for your home, but for your future.