Like many people, you may hear the words “free solar panels” and think, “Is this too good to be true?” In the world of marketing and business, nothing ever really comes for free.
However, some companies do offer financial agreements to help homeowners take advantage of solar power, and there are various government programs you can take part in to help lower the costs.
Let’s take a look at what no-cost solar programs really mean and if they’re worth your time.
Are There Free Solar Panels in New Mexico?
You may have come across advertisements from companies shouting from the rooftops about how you can install solar panels for free. But what do these businesses mean when they use terms like “free” and “no-cost”?
Some companies, like Sign and Shine Solar and Solar City, advertise their solar lease and solar power purchase agreements by using phrases like “free solar panels.” Under these financing options, the company agrees to install solar panels on your roof at no up-front cost. The keyword here is “up-front”.
Although you may not pay an installation fee and have working solar panels generating electricity, you do not own the panels, but you will pay for the electricity they produce.
Solar companies also regularly tell customers that they can acquire government solar panels for free and that there are incentives attached should they act now. Although government programs and incentives are available, these arrangements often come with the expectation that the homeowner will commit to purchasing power for 20 years through the solar company.
You may see immediate energy bill savings, which is always a good thing, but you’ll also be locked in with the company for two decades.
Can You Save Money with Free Solar Panels?
There are many benefits to going solar, including environmental and financial. Most homeowners are keen to reduce their carbon footprint while also saving money on their electricity bills. Solar panels are cost-effective in the long run, but opting for solar leases and power purchase agreements are not always advantageous.
You have to remember that solar companies are in the business of making money and will offer products that produce a profit. These businesses make their money by selling you electricity at a lower rate than what you’ll see on your electric bill.
This is not to say that these agreements are scams. Free solar panel purchase agreements work for some homeowners and can save you money, depending on certain factors, like where you live and your current financial situation.
Leases are a good option for homeowners who can’t take advantage of tax credits or don’t want the hassle of maintaining their panels.
Whatever you decide to do, we recommend getting quotes from solar companies near you to get the best pricing options.
Free Solar Panel Alternatives
Before solar electricity was readily available and cost-effective to the general public, lease agreements and PPAs gave homeowners access to solar panels at a low cost. Now that solar panels are more affordable and accessible, alternative financing options offer better long-term savings.
For instance, solar loans allow you to purchase solar panels with no down payment, and you own the solar system. The benefit of owning the system is that you can take advantage of government rebates and credit incentives, like the Federal Solar Tax Credit. Plus, you’ll have higher energy bill savings over time.
Solar Panels for Low-Income Families
Some state governments and nonprofits have programs that allow low-income families solar electricity for free or at a very low cost. One of these solar programs is GRID Alternatives, which provides low and no-cost solar panel systems to families who qualify.
There are various other programs like GRID that make solar electricity accessible to low-income families. You can find more information about these services at Low Income Solar.
Final Thoughts on Free Solar Panels
Free solar panels in New Mexico may seem like a great option, but before you decide to sign on the dotted line, make sure you go over all the financial options available to you and get quotes from solar installers like New Mexico Water & Electric.
Free solar panels may be a good fit for you if you don’t have the up-front cash to cover installation or you don’t qualify for a loan or government tax credits.
If you decide to purchase solar panels, either directly or through a loan, you’ll receive the most significant long-term electric bill savings. Additionally, you’ll own your solar panel system and can take advantage of tax credits and incentives offered by the federal government.
Free solar panel programs do not give you these same advantages, but they do offer access to solar electricity to homeowners who may not have otherwise had it.
Now that you’re aware of what free solar panels are and what’s involved in the agreements, you can make an informed buying decision.