In the solar industry you hear the phrase a lot, “solar is too expensive.” Well, have you thought about how expensive it is to NOT get solar? First, consider the rate of rising electricity costs at a very conservative 2.75% yearly increase. At this rate, a 6kW PV array will save you an estimated $46,000 in energy costs during the life of the system. When purchasing a solar array, you are purchasing an energy generator. No matter what happens with energy prices around you, your system will continue pumping out energy. You are insulated from expensive and inevitable rate increases. And, in fact, the more energy prices increase the better your investment performs for you. The initial cost of a solar array can seem like a big investment, but there are financing tools and incentives that can help you achieve your investment goals with little upfront cost.
Federal Tax Credit
The federal income tax credit (FITC) is in effect until the end of 2016. It serves to refund 30% of your system cost. The only problem is you still have to put up the money on the front end, before getting it back on your tax return, right? Wrong! You can defer the 30% until your next tax return, and never have that money leave your bank account.
The easiest way to defer the 30% covered by the FITC is to take advantage of a Same as Cash loan and have no interest and no payments for 12 months. This loan is unsecured and requires no money down.
Another option is to apply for a 12 month no interest credit card. This helps to defer the bulk of the 30% tax credit, but does require you to make monthly payments towards the principal. One advantage of this option is you get to earn some useful credit card points to use at your discretion.
Rebates and Grants
There are utilities around Texas that offer rebates to install solar on your home or business. Austin Energy is currently offering $1.25 per watt rebate. Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative offered a $2.00 per watt rebate earlier this year. Oncor is offering a rebate of $538.79 per kilowatt installed.This is a portion off of the initial cost of a system in addition to the FITC mentioned above and can help result in an immediate positive cash flow.
Even if your system is not rebated by your utility provider you may be able to qualify for a grant to install solar. REAP grants offer 25% of the system in a reimbursement grant to rural businesses and farms. Green Mountain Energy offers grants through the Sun Club for non-profits who are looking to install solar.
Financing the Remainder of Your System
Is solar still out of reach? Well, WE HAVE MORE OPTIONS! We have worked very hard with our financial partners to formulate a loan specifically for solar. It is a 12 year, 2.99% fixed interest rate, it’s unsecured, and approval only takes a few minutes. Assuming you live in a rebated area and take advantage of the Same as Cash loan (for the FITC), combining this with the low interest loan can result in immediate positive cash flow. For example a 6kW solar system could result in an extra $100 in your pocket in the first year. And this positive cash flow increases each year as energy costs rise. After twelve years, the loan is paid off and you still have FREE guaranteed energy generation for 13 years!
If you happen to live in a non-rebated area, do not fret. We also have longer term financing packages with interest rates between 5-6%. You can still be cashflow positive in year one, plus you will add value to your home and interest payments are tax deductible. For more information contact us to review the options.
Putting it Together
Installing solar is more accessible than ever and there has never been a better time to invest in solar. In fact, installing a system that meets your energy needs is the ONLY way to lock in your electricity rates. The panels are warrantied to produce at least 80% of their rated output for 25 years. Since your energy output is guaranteed and you can calculate your price, it is easy to determine your price per kWh. It is the only way to achieve energy independence and security.
You’ve installed solar on your home. As the sun rises every day and powers your home in a clean and efficient manner, you can sit on your back porch sipping your beverage of choice feeling like you just made the absolute best financial decision of your life. You feel empowered, energy independent and free. So, there is only one question to ask: How can you afford to NOT get solar?