What are solar financing options for buying solar panels?

best solar panels

One of the main barriers to buying your best solar panels has always been the high initial cost of solar panels. With the high solar panel cost for your PV system depending on system size, location, system performance and the cost of finance; a few flexible solar financing solutions have been developed with the customer in mind. 

The first option is a solar power purchase agreement (solar PPA) that allows a homeowner or a business owner to enter into an agreement with a solar provider with a no money down option and with a slightly reduced rate from their current energy bill. This allows the solar provider to install and own the system, but the host (solar buyer) agrees to buy solar electricity at a specific rate and for a specified period of time. 

Solar PPAs can be short as 5 years or longer as over 20 years depending on the payback period of the solar PV system. A great place to determine whether this option can work for you is by use of a solar power calculator that is specific to your energy needs. Using such as solar calculator is a great starting point to determine how much you can save using such a solar financing option. 

The second flexible solar financing option is solar leasing which allows you to lease solar panels for a specified rate and time. The host might decide to lease for some time and when is able to afford to purchase the solar panels depending on what is the agreement.  This option is also flexible for solar customers that are not able to pay upfront for the solar panels.

The third and the fourth solar financing options are cash and loan respectively which work depending on the price or the cost of finance etc.  Once you research and obtain a good price for your solar panels, you could either decide to pay them for cash or obtain a low-cost loan from a financial institution. 

Although, there is a lot of information on the Internet and you might be overwhelmed by the amount of information you need to digest and draw conclusions.  As a result, online solar marketplaces come in handy to help you shop for solar easier and faster. EnergySage are some of the well-known online solar marketplaces that can help you speed up the process of shopping for your solar PV system. 

What are flexible solar financing solutions? 

There are various financing options that you could obtain from banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions, however, such options may lack the flexibility needed based on the solar PV system that could be designed for you based on your energy requirements. You need flexible solar financing solutions that are unique to your situation and the type of solar panels you end up installing which might require you to work with a solar expert that can negotiate a better offer from a solar manufacturer or solar installer. 

EnergySage for example offers flexible or simple financing programs that make it easier for individuals to purchase the solar system they need. These solutions offer, for instance, homeowners the chance to manage the initial costs of a solar install, and are specifically designed for those with and without equity in their home, helping to further ensure that the system needed is within reach. You can learn more at EnergySage. 

You can also read more about solar financing options here for more details and how to go about the process of shopping for your best solar panels. 

Energy-saving options

solar panel cost calculator

Going solar is a great long-term solution to saving energy, reducing your energy bill, and for sustainability. However, how you maximize solar savings depends on how you shop for solar and the guidance you get as you plan to go solar. 

The process starts by wanting to know whether going solar is for you. Today with the onset of online solar panel calculators, it is easy to determine whether your rooftop receives enough sunlight to generate clean solar power. Using a solar panel calculator, not only gives you an indication as to whether you can create your solar energy but also, estimates how much it would cost plus the savings. 

Once you have estimated the costs and savings for going solar, the next step would be to determine possible ways to obtain the full benefit of solar power. Getting the full advantage of solar power means reducing your solar panel cost significantly and save more money in the long-term. These options include energy efficiency, the use of online solar marketplaces, exploring tax incentives available, and the use of a solar panel cost calculator. 

1. Explore energy efficiency options for your home or business.  

Conducting an energy audit by a professional energy rater certified under an accredited home energy rating system (HERS)would help to determine some quick energy efficiency measures that could be implemented to reduce your energy demand and hence help you to save you the number of solar panels required to power your home or business.  

By conducting an energy audit, you may find out that you need to switch to more energy-efficient appliances that are ENERGY STAR certified. ENERGY STAR rated, means that they consume less energy than their traditional home appliances. Implementing such measures has a high upfront cost, but in the long-term is a cost-effective option. The department of power is a good starting point to point you in the direction of how to finance your home energy efficiency projects

Conducting an energy audit by a professional energy rater certified under an accredited home energy rating system (HERS) would help to determine some quick energy efficiency measures that could be implemented to reduce your energy demand and hence save you the number of solar panels required to power your home or business.  

2. Explore online solar marketplaces to find out who has the best solar panel deals 

Online solar markets can aggregate different solar panel quotes from different solar installers hence helping to reduce your overall solar panel cost.  

An online solar marketplace like the EnergySage provides prospective solar photovoltaic (PV) customers with a platform to obtain and compare quotes from multiple competing installers.  It is an excellent tool for solar customers to get more quotes, and the competition between drivers may allow customers to receive lower prices in a platform like the EnergySage. 

 

solar panel cost calculator

(Source: The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL))

For instance, recent, NREL research studies have shown that solar panel prices from online solar marketplaces are about $0.20/W to $0.40/W lower on such platforms compared to market-wide prices. 

According to NREL, these price differences are robust after controlling for the various market- and system-level characteristics (e.g., system size, module efficiency). For instance, a typical residential solar PV system, the price differences equate to about $1,000 to $2,000 in savings.

3.  Additional ways of getting the full benefit of solar panels 

Reducing the cost of solar panels by exploring further about some of the available rebates and tax credits available from your state or Federal government, respectively. You can also explore different grants or low-cost financing options that are available in the market to help lower your initial solar panel cost. 

A great place to start and get the link up to all these offers and ways of getting the full benefit of solar power is through the use of a solar panel cost calculator. Get started today to get the full benefit of your solar panels. 

Easy simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint

Where can you find easy simple ways reduce your carbon footprint save money
Today the term reducing your carbon footprint is popular in many businesses as well as personal circles.

It is a term used when talking about corporate social responsibility strategies in the business world and used in communities that embraces the concept of sustainability where sustainable living is appreciated for its broader environmental and social benefits around the world.

For instance, when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint the location or geographical location does matter because any type of activity such as switching to solar energy done in any part of the world will have a global impact and it can be experienced anywhere in this world. The reverse is true, any trees cut down in any location anywhere in the world will also have the same effect.

Therefore, when it comes to reducing one’s carbon footprint, it has a global impact and that’s why issues like climate change are being dealt with at the global level. Hence, any actions done in any country are of utmost importance because of the cumulative effects that such actions will have in the long-term when it comes to sustainability and the issues that future generations will have to deal with.

going green

Using reneenergy.com as a platform to raise awareness about solar energy, any capacity additions resulting in switching to solar energy will have the same effect and in the long-term, these effects will be experienced in any part of the world.

Since the life-span of solar panels is anywhere between 20 and 25 years; solar energy adoption can help you to reduce your carbon footprint over its life-span as long as your system is running and well maintained.

Going solar is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint because once installed, it requires very minimal maintenance to run for up to or over 20 years while the money savings are also cumulative in nature, and thus it is a win-win situation that social, environmental and economic benefits.

One corporate social responsibility example of reneenergy.com, is providing information and tools to online users to help them make informed decisions about going solar and doing so; as of today, the cumulative environmental benefits in 20years of the people going solar using this platform will have the following environmental impact as provided in the data analytic of our partners:

Environment Benefit in 20 years:

  • Trees Planted
    9,520
  • Cars off the Road
    78
  • Avoided Carbon Emissions
    371
    metric tons

It is such an impact that keeps us motivated and when and anytime an individual or business decides to go solar using online solar tools that we recommend here at reneenergy.com these figures will continue to go up.

Using these solar calculators, users can make informed choices about their carbon footprint as well as the economics of going solar making it easier for them to quickly go solar because the information provided to them is from many and unbiased sources.

going green
From a sustainability perspective, the businesses that go solar will help to build their brands as consumers continue to become increasingly aware of corporate social responsibility initiatives, and by doing such; these companies will set themselves apart from their competition.

Using solar as an example for corporate social responsibility is possible and it can take the adoption of solar to increase the above numbers i.e. have more trees planted, have more cars off the road, and reduce your carbon footprint through avoided carbon emissions and so on.

These environmental benefits will have even a wider impact to reduce health-related issues from GHG emissions while contributing to social issues such as job creation.

There are various corporate social responsibility examples and going solar is one of them and probably one of the low hanging fruits that businesses or individuals could tackle today and help them to move towards the sustainability path.

Therefore, to answer this question: where can you find easy simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save money? going solar is one good low hanging fruit that can help you reduce your carbon footprint while helping to save you money.

By using the online solar tools we recommend here, you can actually determine what are the savings and your carbon footprint when you decide to go solar.

In addition to going solar, reneenergy.com also promotes greening the office initiatives and sustainable living practices that can help you switch to greener products such as 100% recycled paper that will help to save trees in the long-term and help your business reduce its carbon footprint.

Depending on the amount of paper your business uses, the more impact you would have in switching to 100% recycled paper which translates to how many trees you will have saved by your adoption.

Below we have listed some links from our partners to help us in contributing to more good impact in the environment and for sustainability reasons. That is!

going green

The above are just a few examples of how you could reduce your carbon footprint while saving money. For more details and professional advice concerning going solar and sustainability, please don’t hesitate to contact us at support@reneenergy.com

Thank you for stopping by and we look forward to reading your comments below.

How to adopt a green office for business

With the growing concerns of climate change and the need to move towards sustainability, many companies have realized that integrating sustainability into their business operations is not only profitable but helps to improve a company’s image while building its competitive edge. Today we see big corporations as well as small companies developing sustainability strategies that help them to innovate, create value and perform well in the marketplace because consumers are increasingly becoming aware of their production and consumption patterns in order to protect the eco-system.

In that regard, what are some of the low-hanging fruits of adopting a green office for your business? Is recycling or going solar good solutions for sustainability? This blog attempts to explain some low hanging fruits that small and medium-size businesses might want to explore to help them adopt a triple-bottom-line i.e. a business good for the environment, social and economic dimensions of sustainability. 

Is sustainability good for your bottom line?

Sustainability as a concept helps companies to innovate and become more efficient in their processes and operations. It helps companies to determine areas of continuous improvement or ways to conserve time, raw materials and reduce energy wastes while at the same time improving their bottom line. With sustainability, eco-efficiency is key to business processes helping companies to adopt the triple-bottom-line concept that is not only driven by profits but also the well being of society and the eco-system (environment) from which companies derive their raw materials.

What are some of the entry points for small and medium-sized businesses to adopt sustainability?

Implementing sustainability into business operations and processes can be implemented by small and medium-sized companies that are interested in creating a brand that recognizes the principle of sustainability has a value not only for their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy but also profitable for companies in the long-term. However, since implementing sustainability can demand a lot of resources in terms of human capital, time and financial resources that many small companies may not have; companies can target low-hanging fruits such as greening their office operations and processes.

What are some of the low-hanging fruits for adopting a green office?

When you want to think about making your office sustainable, you can think about your inputs and outputs. Just like in an industrial process, you may want to find out your materials and energy balance i.e. what raw materials are you feeding into the system and what is the resultant (product or by-product) and as such you can identify areas for continuous improvement. It is about following your products and processes and seeing the impact they have on the environment, society and the economy. For instance, is your product made with biodegradable or recyclable materials or are your processes efficient and utilizing less energy and what components can be added to help minimize or completely eliminate waste.

With this background, perhaps you can start to figure out opportunities for adopting different technologies for your office or practices that can help reduce energy and eliminate waste. Some of the low-hanging fruits we can think of are energy and paper. Energy and paper are both inputs in a process called printing and some technologies or sustainability practices can be adopted to help your company become more profitable while helping to conserve planet earth. Energy is another input that you could target since it is being used to run your computers, printers, light bulbs, computer servers, air conditioning, refrigeration, scanners, and other office equipment.

By targeting energy and paper, you want to innovate, create value and determine how much you can save by optimizing your processes to use less energy and generate less paper waste.

So, what are some green office ideas when it comes to saving office paper and energy conservation?

  1. Saving office paper

Saving office paper is great for your pocket and for long-term sustainability since the cumulative savings of paper and cash will help to conserve trees and save you money that you could have used to purchase the extra paper. When it comes to determining the numbers for example how much paper you can save based on your current baseline, there are some tools out there like the office footprint calculator that can help you determine your sustainability impact.

In that regard, you want to determine some of the best practices that your office can adopt to change the trajectory of your paper usage through paper minimization strategies and recycling or buying recycled paper.

    • Some of the common practices is adjusting your printer’s default settings to automatically print on both sides of your paper.
    • Purchase energy-efficient printers that are Energy Star rated to conserve both energy and paper at the same time. There are various places that you can find energy-efficient printers. Check out the green office for some options.  Find energy-efficient printers, fax machines and more on Amazon!
    • Buy office paper that is recycled this could range anywhere from 25% recycled to 100% recycled. Such paper with recycled content is usually paper certified to sustainable forestry standards. You can learn more about buying green paper or recycled paper through Amazon. Learn more about how you can with the green office and Make Earth and your wallet happy! 100% recycled paper products at amazing prices available on Amazon!
    • Use electronic means such as emails and scanning to share information and this can save you tonnes of paper in the long-term.
  1. Energy conservation

Energy efficiency is one way of saving energy and can be explored to help you conserve energy in the long-term. Below are some ideas you may want to consider:

    • Switch to LED lighting and save on lighting costs
    • Adopt energy-efficient appliances for your office including energy-efficient printers, scanners and other equipment that uses energy. There are various places you can find such green office appliances.  Amazon has hundreds of green electronics, accessories and more!
    • Consider going solar which could reduce your energy bill with about 30% to 75% of your energy bill while at the same time improving your company’s brand. Today there are online solar calculators that can provide you with a good estimate of the savings that you can achieve with going solar. Check out this solar calculator to determine the cost of going solar and answer some questions you may have concerning switching to solar such as: 

These are just a few ideas that can help your company start moving towards being sustainable or achieving a triple-bottom-line (Environmental, Social and Economic).