PURCHASE

You can purchase a solar power system by paying cash upfront or financing it. When you purchase a solar panel system:

  • You own the panels on the roof
  • You don’t have to pay for the electricity generated by your panels
  • The electricity rate from the panels will never increase because it is essentially free
  • You are eligible to reduce your tax liability through the investment tax credit
  • You are eligible for other incentives
  • You can realize tax benefits by treating the solar panel system as a depreciable asset if it is installed on your business
  • The solar panel system could increase the value of your property
  • Your state may allow you to remove the contributory value of the new solar panel system from your home or business’s tax assessment
  • You can monitor the system from your phone

LEASE

With a leased system, someone else purchases the system and installs it on your roof. When you lease a Solar Panel System:

  • You don’t have to pay for the electricity generated by the panels
  • you usually have no down payment
  • your lease is transferable to a new owner
  • you have an option to buy the system later
  • The leasing company monitors the system and pays for maintenance

POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENT (PPA)

In a typical Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) a developer pays to install a system on your property at little to no cost to you. The developer sells the power generated by the system to you at a rate that is typically lower than the rate you were paying. This lower electricity price offsets the more expensive electricity you purchase from the utility.

When you participate in a PPA:

  • You have a low up front cost
  • The agreement is transferable to a new owner
  • You have an option to buy the system later
  • The developer takes care of the maintenance and any needed repairs

So, bottom line for purchasing, leasing and PPAs:

  • Purchasing requires more upfront capital from you but could have more benefits in the long run.
  • A lease typically requires no money down but you pay a flat leasing fee.
  • With a PPA, you pay for power generated by solar panels with maybe a little money down.
  • No matter which option you chose, you are always tied to the grid, so any residual electricity needs are covered by your utility
  • Both leasing and PPAs are low cost and there’s not a huge difference between them at the consumer level.

Unity Solar can show you the advantages of all options available and help you choose the one that is right for you.

What incentives are available?

Once you install a system with Unity Solar, we assure you will receive the incentives that are due to you. Here are some of the more common incentives, but there are probably more that are specific to your location:

Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a 26 percent tax credit for solar systems on residential and commercial installation projects that begin in 2020. This allows you to deduct 26% of the total cost of your solar installation — dollar for dollar – from your federal taxes.

However it is important to act quickly to take advantage of ITC credits. As of this writing, the 26% ITC will be reduced to 22% for projects that begin construction in 2021 and drop to 0% for residential and 10% for commercial from then on. For example, a $7,800 tax credit at 26% in 2020 will be reduced to a $6,600 tax credit at 22% in 2021 and will – unless the program is extended — disappear entirely in 2022.

Who is Eligible for the ITC?

  • If a home or business owner with an existing home or business installs solar eligible for the ITC that year, the home or business owner is eligible for the ITC the year the installation begins.
  • If a home or business owner purchases a newly built home or business with solar and owns the system outright, the home or business owner is eligible for the ITC the year that they move into the house.
  • If the home or business owners leases the solar system or purchases electricity from the system through a power purchase agreement (PPA), then the ITC is claimed by the company that leases the system or offers the PPA.

Net Metering

While technically not an incentive, net metering does reduce the overall cost of your system. Many states offer a form of net metering. Here’s how it works:

Whenever your solar installation produces more electricity than you need at that particular moment — say during the day when no-one is home or business or little electricity is being used — your electric meter will run backwards as the excess electricity is pushed back to the grid. Then, at night at other times when your system isn’t operating at peak efficiency, you will in effect receive that excess electricity back at no cost. And, in the off chance you produce more electricity during a billing cycle than you use, your utility company will credit you for it on your next bill.

Without net metering, any excess electricity produced cannot be captured for later use or bill reduction.

SREC Programs

An SREC (Solar Renewable Energy Certificate) is a certificate that represents energy produced by a home or business owner’s solar installation. A home or business owner enrolled in an SREC program earns one SREC for every 1000 kilowatt hours (kWhs) – the equivalent of one megawatt hour (MWh) — produced by system. These SRECs can be sold to utilities, which use the certificates to serve as proof that they have either produced renewable electricity themselves or paid someone who is producing renewable electricity. This proof is required by the various states to demonstrate the utility is dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint.

For example, a typical size five kilowatt kW solar installation will produce five to eight MWh of electricity per year, and generate one SREC for every MWh. Since an SREC can be worth over $300 in certain states, SRECs can dramatically lower the overall costs of installing solar panels.

FAQ

How do I know solar is right for my home or business?

It depends on the available roof space you have, the amount of shading on the roof, and the orientation of the roof. Click Here and we can do a quick assessment for you.

Will I be independent of the grid?

You will always be connected to the grid and there will always be a minimal monthly connection fee from your utility company. However, the advantage of solar energy is that you can generate it yourself (well, actually, the sun generates it, but you know what we mean). Your home or business will use this electricity to power your appliances and electronics. If your home or business needs any extra energy, it will draw that from the grid.

But, with solar there is an upside to the grid connection as well, and that is called “net metering”, which we described above. Certain states and utility companies offer net metering as a form of incentive. Without net metering and being tied to the grid, you can’t be credited with the extra power your system generates.

What about battery storage?

Energy storage technology is evolving quickly. Contact us for the latest offerings.

Will I still have one electric bill?

Because you will still be connected to the grid, you will have two electric bills even if your solar array produces more energy than you consume. You will get one bill from your utility company and another for the solar. The goal of course is to have the total of both bills be less than your current bill.

How long does installation take?

One to four days, depending on the complexity of the project. Then after any required local inspections, your system will be activated.

What if I have to move?

You can pay off the solar system when you sell your home, or you can transfer it to the new home or business owner. Many people use the value of the solar array as a negotiating tool when selling.

Will the solar array increase the value of my property?

A properly installed and attractive solar array can increase the value of your home, and set it apart from the competition in a competitive real estate market. It will definitely affect your assessment but many states allow this value increase to be tax-neutral.

Contact us

info@unitysolargroup.com (630-828-2143)