Types of solar panel financing.

Solar Lease vs Solar PPA

solar panel cost calculator

A solar lease and a solar PPA are common terms that are used interchangeably in solar panel financing although how do you tell which one is the best fit for you? To answer this question let’s see how these terms differ and how one can use solar energy calculators from EnergySage or Geostellar to decide their best fit type of solar panel financing.

Solar lease and solar PPA operate in a similar manner because they both refer to solar panel financing modalities with the aim to help individuals or businesses go solar with zero or no money down. They are also similar because they both involve a solar consumer entering into a lease agreement with a solar provider for a specified period of time.

Also, both of these solar panel financing arrangements involve solar providers sourcing for financing investors to help solar consumers that may not be able to afford going solar with cash or loan options.

solar ppa

Cash and loan options may involve high upfront costs, but in the long-term help solar consumers to save more money from the installed solar power system that takes place mainly on their rooftop. However, a solar lease or solar PPA even though it may not save you huge savings compared to other solar panel financing options; they are accessible to most consumers that may not want to enter into debt to go solar.

So, how does a solar lease or solar PPA differ?

Even though a solar lease or solar PPA may appear very similar and these words are used interchangeably, they are actually two different concepts when it comes to solar panel financing. As a result, if you are a solar considerer and you are interested in going solar you might want to review these two terms so that you can decide about solar without confusing these terms. Is solar worth it?  is an interesting aspect of going solar that you want to determine first before knowing what type of solar panel financing is best for you. 

In a solar lease, it involves “renting” the solar equipment (solar panels) that is used to harvest solar energy which in return produces solar power that a solar consumer enjoys for a specified period of time as agreed in a solar agreement that is signed between the solar consumer and the solar provider.

The idea behind this concept is again to help solar consumers go solar with a less financial burden and still enjoy the benefits of switching to solar, including but not limited to saving energy, reducing your carbon footprint, reducing your energy bill and saving the environment from climate change for future generations. In a solar lease, just like in solar PPA, a solar consumer pays a monthly fee that is actually “rent or a lease amount” which could be slightly lower or equal to their current electric bill.

While a solar PPA seems similar to a solar lease, it is different because, in a solar PPA agreement, a solar consumer does not “rent” the solar equipment (solar panels), but actually pays for the electricity generated by the solar panels that are installed in their rooftop by the solar provider. In this arrangement, a solar consumer agrees to pay a fixed or a variable rate based on the amount of power consumed (kWh) by them and it is also for a specified period of time.

As a noted earlier, both these types of solar panel financing arrangements compared to buying solar panels in cash or loan option even though are the least expensive options of going solar involving no money down; they may not be the best options for solar consumers that are looking to maximize their solar savings to reduce greatly their utility bills, for example by 50% to 75%.

Instead, solar consumers exploring solar lease or solar PPA as their solar panel financing options can expect to save anywhere between 10% to 30%, because in these financing options a solar consumer does not own the solar panels installed on their rooftop. In a solar lease or a solar PPA, solar investors own the installed solar panels to get a return on investment (ROI) when a solar consumer goes solar using their equipment.

So, what is the best option for a solar lease or solar PPA?

This depends on what state you live in because some states have not approved these types of solar panel financing. Therefore, depending on where you live, how much you want to save with solar, the lease agreement best fits for you may be influenced by such factors.

To help you make this decision you can use this solar panel calculator to help you compare the different solar panel financing options available to you with a click of the mouse. These solar energy platforms provide solar consumers with a one-stop place of information to compare and contrast different solar prices or rates. With such information easily available, one can decide what are the best solar panel financing options available to them.

The most important aspect of using such solar energy platforms is to help online users know how much solar energy they can generate on their specific rooftop by just specifying their address to get the unique characteristics of their rooftop that affect solar energy potential.

Get started today with either EnergySage which are the most well known online solar marketplaces in the country that provide online users with credible solar information. In case you want to contact us, please don’t hesitate you can reach us at support@reneenergy.com or you can just comment below here and will get back to you as soon as possible.

Going solar with no money down.

Many businesses and homeowners may have the money to buy solar, but not so many people want to spend their cash to go solar because of competing needs such as business expansion paying off their mortgage, going to school, etc. For example, if it is a business, the CEO or the CFO may want to invest their finance in other places such as in business operations or expansion and put solar on hold for sometime even when it makes financial sense.

While a homeowner, may or not have all this money upfront to purchase a solar power system and may consider spending their cash in reducing their mortgage balance. Also, many solar considerers may not want to enter into debt in order to go solar. 

It is because of such reasons that made companies like SunEdison and SolarCity to develop financing innovations that don’t require potential solar customers to spend their cash to buy solar panels. Instead, potential solar buyers will only purchase the electricity generated by solar panels installed on their rooftops and which they don’t have to own. 

Are solar panels worth it?

This innovation is the famous solar power purchase agreement (solar PPA) that unlocked the solar industry in the mid-2000s and as a result of this, companies that pioneered this model including SunEdison and SolarCity have become some of the largest solar companies in the world.

How do you go solar with no money down?

Companies that apply solar PPA sell solar as a service because a solar buyer does not have to own the equipment (solar panels) that could be unaffordable to them because of the high initial cost. Also, most businesses or individuals in many cases don’t want to spend their cash to buy solar panels.

Solar companies like SunEdison enter into partnerships with investors, including institutional investors or individuals interested in making a return on investment (ROI) when customers go solar. Solar companies partner with a pool of investors to sell solar as a service while solar investors are provided with incentives that make solar financially attractive. Such incentives such as net-metering and solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) are created by the government to accelerate the growth of the solar industry.

Are solar panels worth it?

Net-metering allows for selling excess solar electricity into the grid when a solar system is generating more solar power than it is being consumed and credit is offered to the solar owner at the end of the billing year.

One SREC is equivalent to 1megawatthour (MWh) of solar electricity generated and is sold in the renewable energy certificates markets (renewable energy portfolio standards). Just to give you an estimate, a 10 kW facility generates around 12 SRECs annually while the SREC price can range anywhere from $4/SREC to $480/SREC and when an investor owns your solar equipment they generate SREC money for 25 years which go towards their solar panels investment.

The investor generates SREC money for 25 years since the lifespan of a solar panel is about 25 years. It is such incentives that make investors want to buy solar panels while you as the business or individual/family benefit from locked-in solar electricity rates to hedge against volatile energy prices. The price of solar electricity is locked-in because solar energy fuel is natural and hence free; while the solar panels (equipment) are paid for by the investor.

Selling solar as a service means that solar companies don’t sell solar panels to companies, but instead, sell the electricity generated by solar panels owned by investors they are in partnership with. In this model, since solar adopters don’t own the solar panels; homeowners or businesses don’t have to worry about the maintenance or any other operational costs associated with going solar.

Benefits of the solar PPA model

  • This is one of the easiest and fastest ways of going solar for both businesses and individuals because it does not require them to pay for solar panels, but only for the electricity, they consume every month.
  • This model helps to go solar at slightly lower rates than that provided by your utility company in most cases to make solar attractive to you the end-user. A long-term agreement (solar PPA) is agreed upon with the solar company to either have a fixed or variable rate.
  • A fixed-rate means that a homeowner or a business can lock-in their electricity rate for a certain period to hedge against volatile energy prices. Therefore, most of the savings achieved using this model is achieved through avoided costs associated with rising energy prices. In that regard, solar consumers going solar this way could save between 20-30% of their energy costs.
  • Considering such savings, businesses that may have huge energy bills benefit much more and can use the money saved to expand their businesses or to pay off their mortgage. Also, since they are not required to pay for their solar panels, the money that could have been used to buy solar panels could be used in other channels related to business operation or business expansion.

Are solar panels worth it?

Can you benefit from solar PPA?

Anyone with a suitable rooftop and that receives a good amount of solar irradiation could benefit from solar PPA. A good amount of solar irradiation means investors that invest in owning your solar panels will be able to have a good return on investment (ROI).

Although before you start a solar PPA process without owning solar panels or maintaining them; you might want to consider whether a solar PPA model has been approved in your country or state. 

Over 40 states have approved solar PPA and some have not approved solar PPAs. However, one can still benefit from other solar policies such as net-metering, SRECs and investment tax credits that make solar financially attractive. Using such incentives for solar, one can be able to reduce the cost of solar with up to 50% depending on their tax appetite.

How can you start today?

Nowadays you don’t have to research from various webpages to reach your conclusions or find the information you may be looking for. You can also compare different solar providers with the best solar service or solar prices. 

These days with the onset of decision online solar tools, you are able to find out what solar providers are available in your local and select from a pool of pre-screened solar installers using these online solar tools. 

Also since one needs to know whether their roof is receiving good solar irradiation; online solar tools are powered through LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR)) – a technology combining location and distance data recorded by the scanner, software packages that generate a 3D model of a location. 

Such data is collected using planes to give good estimates about your solar irradiation and is enhanced using google earth so that you only type the address of your location to determine your specific solar irradiation (solar potential).  

Therefore, you can find out your solar potential at the click of your mouse and get to know how much you can save with solar or answer the question: Are solar panels worth it? 

Get started today by registering with either EnergySage for free to find out which solar energy plan is good for you. There is no one size fits for all-every home or business has different roof sizes and design considerations that affect your solar energy potential, financing while the solar provider is based on your selection. 

Solar panel reviews: Is solar power worth it?

Solar power is fast gaining popularity in many households in most countries around the world. The reason behind this growth is that governments have promoted the efforts of most households and firms using sun power as green energy, by introducing incentives such as eliminating taxes on the equipment.

However, most studies continue to mention that there is a general lack of information about solar and that’s why this blog: “Swichingtosolarpv.com” is useful and provides relevant information that most solar considerers may be looking to decide about solar. This blog promotes online solar tools that can help to decide whether solar is right for you based on your specific solar potential and roofing design. Click here to learn more about these online solar tools.

In this specific blog, solar panel reviews of different solar panels brands is provided as well as where you can obtain these solar panels. To start, let us see how solar panels work and try to answer a common question: Is solar power worth it?

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 How do solar panels work?

A solar panel has two sheets of semiconducting material that are silicon cells. When a photon of light or sunray hit the two layers, it prompts an electron to jump between them. The vibrations of these electrons produce some energy and then tapped by attaching electrodes to the two layers. The connected wires end up transferring energy, which ends up as electricity.

Is Solar Power Worth It?

One of the most common questions asked about solar panels include: “Is solar power worth it?” We can answer this question in some angles and to kick us off is that it depends on various unique needs surrounding your home or business. From lighting to running your equipment and gadgets, solar energy will save you money that could have otherwise gone to settling your utility bills.

Secondly, solar power the initial installation of sun power in the USA could range anywhere between USD 15,000- 30,000 without tax credits. The power is a sound financial decision, saving the public’s health, climate, and environment as solar is a cheaper option compared to fossil fuel.

Finally yet fundamental, is that solar offers energy reliability and independence. Everyone knows the sun will continue to rise and you need not worry of exhausting any reserves in the decades to come.

Solar Panel Reviews

Below are solar panel reviews of some examples of solar brands in the market:

  1. Ameresco Solar

Ameresco Solar is a leader in remote power products supplying ten high-quality solar panels to markets. The over 100 products use the polycrystalline technology, offering a wattage of between 140-200 Watts. The products come with an extended warranty of over ten years for both residential and commercial solar power systems. The manufacturer is based in the US.

To learn more about these brand of solar panels; Click here for Solar Power Information, Products, and Videos!

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  1. BP Solar Panels

The British Petroleum Company or BP offers decent panels most of them providing a wattage of between 220-285 Watts. The manufacturers have incorporated the polycrystalline module in the more than ten models under its name. BP solar panel enjoys a warranty of 10 years, guaranteeing users of 25 years of service on each of the panels. Their panels are manufactured in India, China and the US.

To learn more about these brand of solar panels; Click here for Solar Power Information, Products, and Videos!

  1. Canadian Solar Panels

Canadian Solar based in Canada is among the leading solar manufacturers, producing highly efficient solar cells, solar modules, sun power systems not mentioning the off-grid solar power application solutions. It has over 11 solar PV models, each offering an output of between 210 and 260 Watts. The panels are made of monocrystalline technology, whose efficiency ranges between 15.4 -16.3 percent. The products’ warranty is ten years, covering for poor material and artistry.

To learn more about these brand of solar panels; Click here for Solar Power Information, Products, and Videos!

  1. ET Solar

ET Solar is a smart solar energy maker, offering highly successful solar systems. The maker incorporates the polycrystalline cell efficiency technology in its ten models. The wattage ranges between 305-320 Watts, a ten years warranty and 25 years of services on their products.

To learn more about these brand of solar panels Click here for Solar Power Information, Products, and Videos!

  1. Powerfilm

Powerfilm has positioned itself global manufacturer of thin-film solar products and modules. The US-based maker utilises proprietary technology platform, allowing for the production of low-cost solar modules on a high volume basis. The maker also warrants their products for one year, free from defects in materials and artistry.

To learn more about these brand of solar panels Click here for Solar Power Information, Products, and Videos!

  1. Power-up BSP Solar Panels

Power Up is a renowned manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) products thanks to 20 years of experience in the solar industry. The modules offer a wattage of between 1-40 Watts, suiting many applications. The maker supports its OEM panels with a five-year warranty.

To learn more about these brand of solar panels; Click here for Solar Power Information, Products, and Videos!

  1. Sharp Solar Panels

Sharp Solar is a committed solar solutions maker, boasting of six models made of polycrystalline material. The products offer an average efficiency of between 14.4-15.5 percent, with a warranty of 10 years. The maker guarantees a performance of the solar panels for the age of 25, and in the end, the power output falling to 80%. Sharp Solar Panels are made in the US and Japan but supplied in Canada among other countries.

To learn more about these brand of solar panels; Click here for Solar Power Information, Products, and Videos!

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  1. Solar Land

Solar Land is a US-based solar maker, boasting of the two SLP Series panel that offers a wattage of between 3-40 Watts. All panels the feature high-efficient cells, each covered by our 25-year warranty by the manufacturer.

To learn more about these brand of solar panels; Click here for Solar Power Information, Products, and Videos!

  1. Solartech Solar Panels

Solartech is the maker of the photovoltaic panels that use the efficient polycrystalline technology. The maker has nine products, offering a wattage of between 45-140 Watts. The products come with 20 years of guaranteed service. Solartech is based in England.

Click here for Solar Power Information, Products, and Videos!

  1. Solar World Solar Panels

Solar World is a renowned solar pioneer in the U.S and Canadian markets. SolarWorld has six models made of monocrystalline and polycrystalline technology. Its products’ efficiency ranges between 13.12–16.7 percent, offering a warranty of 10 years. The products enjoy a lifespan of 30 years with power output dropping to 86.5 percent after this period.

To learn more about these brand of solar panels; Click here for Solar Power Information, Products, and Videos!

  1. Suntech Solar Panels

Suntech Solar develops and manufactures the most reliable and cost-effective solar energy solutions today. The maker has four models offering a wattage of between 240-305 Watts, using the monocrystalline and polycrystalline technology. The products enjoy a 10-year warranty, guaranteed lifespan of 25 years with power output dropping to 80.2 percent after this period. The solar panels maker is based in China, Japan and the USA.

To learn more about these brand of solar panels; Click here for Solar Power Information, Products, and Videos!

  1. Yingli Solar Panels

Yingli Solar Panels is one of the world’s best solar (photovoltaic) panel manufacturers headquartered in China but with branches across many parts of the world. It boasts of up to six models of both mono crystalline and multi crystalline solar panels, of between 315-340 Watts. The products come with a warranty of 25 years, guaranteed 25 years of service with the power dropping to 80.20 percent after this period.

To learn more about these brand of solar panels; Click here for Solar Power Information, Products, and Videos!

  1. Trina Solar

Trina Solar provides smart, clean and reliable energy solutions to homes and businesses worldwide. It produces five models of both mono and multi-crystalline solar panels. The maker guarantees an output that is above the nameplate wattage, 250-270 Watts, with each module coming with a 10-year warranty and 25 or 30 years linear power output guarantee. After this period, the power falls to 80.20 percent.

To learn more about these brand of solar panels; Click here for Solar Power Information, Products, and Videos!

  1. SunPower Solar Panels

SunPower has high performing solar power systems but with three models made of monocrystalline technology. The products offer an average efficiency of between 20.4-21.5 percent. SunPower offers a 25 years warranty, guaranteed 25-year performance with the power output of their solar panels dropping to 87% after this period. Their solar panels designed in the USA.

To learn more about these brand of solar panels; Click here for Solar Power Information, Products, and Videos!

Can Solar meet all your energy needs?

As the price of solar continues to drop and as many people continue to realize they can go solar with no money down; many solar considerers are on the fence because solar is still yet to go mainstream and the technology is now being demonstrated by innovators and early adopters.

While some solar considerers are changing their perception based on the experiences of the early adopters and information that is currently available today with the discovery of online solar tools. Online solar tools help potential solar buyers determine whether solar is good for them by the click of the mouse. Continue reading to find out more about these online solar tools.

The most common questions asked by most solar considerers are: can solar meet my energy needs? can solar power my appliances? lights, heating, computer, or television and so on. Innovators and early adopters of solar have demonstrated the answer to this question. These groups of solar adopters have demonstrated that solar panels are able to meet all or most of your energy needs based on your geographic location and the size of your solar power system.

Since solar is able to run your home or business; the question: Are solar panels worth it? is very relevant as with solar there is “no one size fits all solution” because there are very many variables that are considered when making the decision about whether to go solar.

These variables are site-specific and hence different for all households or businesses. In that regard, the amount of sunlight varies from place to place while solar panels come with different efficiencies while and how much of energy needs can be met with solar also vary based on these variables.

So, what are these variables that will determine how much of your energy needs can be with solar?

How many solar panels do I need?

The sizing of your solar panels system depends on your current energy consumption and the amount of sunlight hitting your rooftop. The most important thing to note is that solar power is not generated from the heat from the sun, but by the light hitting your roof and hence for people that live in cold climates, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have solar power to keep you warm and run your house.

All you need is light from the Sun that hits your solar panels to cause movement of electrons through a semiconductor material like silicon. Innovators and early adopters of solar power have demonstrated that you can get a good amount of solar power even on worst looking days.

So, how many solar panels do I need? Let start by saying an average U.S. household consumes 11,000 kWh per year and depending on your geographic location, design of your roof and the direction of your roof is facing; it is possible to generate this amount of electricity using solar panels.

You can actually run your household or business 100% on solar panels and the technology has proven that it is possible, however, this will come with a considerable cost because you will be required to buy battery banks to store excess solar energy which is collected during the day when the Sun is readily available.

The stored solar energy is then used at night when the sun goes down. EnergySage estimates that a typical homeowner will need between 28–34 solar panels of standard efficiency to power his/her home (dependent on the location and size of the roof.)

What will determine a household or business to run 100% on solar panels is the number of solar panels to be installed. Locations with a good potential of solar irradiation (sunlight) like California will require small solar panels system compared to areas like Boston that have less sunny days. Geographic locations will less sunny days need bigger systems or will require more efficient solar power systems if they were to run 100% on solar. Larger or efficient solar power systems mean more solar energy is harvested and hence such systems will cost more money to install.

How much rooftop space do I have to place my solar panels?

If you were to meet all your energy needs with solar panels, it means you need enough rooftop space to place your solar panels. However, this depends on whether you are willing to spend more money in buying energy-efficient solar panels and hence use less space on your rooftop. The more efficient your solar panels are, the less space is required, but the more money you will need to spend in order to go solar.

Although these days you can get your solar panels financed with no money down and therefore you can still enjoy these benefits without having to buy these solar panels. Learn more about going solar with no money down.

Decision online solar tools can assist you to decide about solar today.

It used to be very difficult to decide about solar until recently when decision online solar tools were developed by companies like EnergySage or Geostellar. There were many myths to debunk, as there was a general lack of adequate information about solar when it comes to its affordability, usability or to prove whether it works and can help families or businesses save money.

Also since the technology is still new; good case studies about where solar had worked were not easily available to help many potential buyers answer the question: Are solar panels worth it? Also getting reliable, qualified or licensed solar installers was not as easy, because there were no good reviews about them or pre-screened resources of installers that you could use to determine the best installers in your area.

Thanks to online solar tools that have helped to fill these gaps and nowadays at the click of your mouse it is now possible to get solar quote estimates. Also to make it even better these tools are free to use to start obtaining free solar quotes where you don’t have to put any money down to go solar.

These online solar tools will help you determine how many solar panels do I need? And when you register you will be able to determine the below factors for free.

  • How much sunlight is hitting your roof?
  • Cost of solar
  • How much can I save with solar energy?
  • Going solar with no money down

Get started today with EnergySage and start comparing which solar energy plan is right for you as there is “no one size fits all solution” because your solar energy potential and the size of your roof is different from any other.