Horizon Solar Power is one of the leading solar installation companies in California, specializing in complete solar systems that help our friends, family, and neighbors save money on their monthly energy bills. If you’re interested in going solar, you may be confused as to what the best option is for putting solar on your home and how pricing works.
From a purely pricing standpoint, system cost depends heavily on your monthly energy costs and how well your house can generate solar. As an example, a 3-bedroom, 2 bathroom home with an average monthly energy bill of $125.00 would likely need a system that cost $10,000 – $15,000. On the other hand, a large home with a pool or heavy A/C use could require a system that could break $45,000.
With each approach there are different ways you as a homeowner can enjoy going solar and seeing energy savings.
Purchasing your solar system outright is the most expensive option upfront; however, it is also the most long-term financially rewarding investment opportunity. From the first day of installation, you will start to reduce or even completely eliminate your monthly energy bill and will also qualify for substantial tax breaks and rebates. The system will be under your full ownership and responsibility, including any maintenance and repairs. System warranties are available through your personal homeowner’s insurance. As the sole owner of your system, you have the ability to pick and choose any additional components such as charging stations, home monitoring capabilities, or bundle options.
Advantages of buying:
- Viable long-term investment: Make no system payments, drastically reduce your energy bills, and receive tax breaks and rebates.
- $0 energy bill: Reduce or all together eliminate your monthly energy bills starting as soon as the first day of installation.
- Tax breaks and rebates: Apply for a discount in federal and state tax breaks and rebates that can discount the cost of your system by as much as 50%.
Financing your solar system with a loan through a commercial lender is a viable option when purchasing a smaller system you’d like to pay off relatively quickly without needing to shell out the lump sum upfront. Loan interest payments are typically less than monthly energy bills, allowing you to net instant savings. Your payments may be locked, depending on your credit worthiness, the system type, and the size of your home. The system is fully yours upon final payment, and in most instances, you as the owner are responsible for any maintenance and repairs. The 3 most common types of solar loans are:
- Home Equity Line of Credit: HELOC payments are typically less than the average monthly electrical bill and roll into your mortgage. You must have a FICO score of over 700 in order to qualify.
- Home Energy Renovation Opportunity: HERO is a financing program that allows you to make payments through your annual property taxes, which can be passed on in the event you sell your home.
- Mosaic: Loans through this crowdsourced solar provider come bundled with a maintenance service that’s good for the length of the loan.
Advantages of a loan:
- Little money down: Enjoy a smaller upfront payment than buying outright.
- Immediate savings: Save from day one with loan payments that are less than monthly energy bills.
- Energy independence: Reduce your dependence on energy price volatility.
Power Purchase Agreement (PPA):
A PPA is a contract between you and Horizon to purchase solar power based on a low fixed rate that is typically less than what your local utility company charges. Horizon has full ownership of the system and is responsible for installing it and maintaining it. You simply pay for the power it produces. At the end of the PPA, you have the option to extend the agreement, purchase the system, or have the panels removed from your roof free of charge. In the event you sell your home, you can either transfer the agreement to the new owners or pay it off and include its cost in your home sale price.
Advantages of a PPA:
- Affordable and flexible: Pay little to $0 down with low, fixed monthly payments.
- Worry-free: Horizon installs, maintains, and repairs all equipment for the duration of the agreement.
- Fixed costs: Protect yourself from any future utility rate spikes.