California has long been a leader in solar power. Our state leads the country with the number of rooftop panels on homes, helping the environment with a cleaner, renewable energy source, and saving money where it counts, in the wallet. I have recently learned of a great new way in which homeowners will be able to potentially save even more when they make the switch to solar. The nation’s largest provider of solar power systems, SolarCity, headquartered in San-Mateo, is now offering homeowners loans to purchase their solar panel systems, instead of leasing them.
Currently, it is standard practice for companies to provide a solar panel system and have the homeowner pay for the use of the system with a lease over a long period of time, usually 20 years. This has been done to help homeowners avoid a high upfront cost which can be a hindrance to getting solar power. With solar power going mainstream over the past several years, and more usage and performance data available, SolarCity has gotten access to more financing options, and announced that they can confidently provide a loan to cover the purchase cost of a system over a period of up to 30 years.
With their loan program, you will pay only for the amount of power produced each month. While this will create some fluctuation in monthly payments, the total out of pocket expense will not only still be less than that of standard electric power, it is also expected to be less than homeowners pay for leasing a solar panel system. For months with less power production, you will pay less. SolarCity is guaranteeing payment of the loams based on their knowledge of system performance. This keeps the investment risk on the side of SolarCity, not homeowners. Being able to predict how their systems perform has helped SolarCity establish a baseline for their loans to ensure that even with lower months of power production; the loans are expected to be paid off within the 30 year period.
Another way homeowners will be able to save a sizable amount of money when purchasing a rooftop solar panel system, is through federal tax credits that are available. For example, a $30,000 system can equate in a return of $9,000 tax credit. This money can then be applied toward the loan of the system itself, shortening the time it takes to pay off the balance. The more a loan is paid down, the lower the payment will be as well.
When it comes to owning a home, there are so many options and ideas available to help you save money in the long run, solar power is just one. When you are ready to buy or sell a home, we at Haylen Group are here to help you with all of your real estate needs! If you are unsure what your options are, call Helen Chong at (408) 800-LIST or email at Helen@HaylenGroup.com. You can also visit us at our website for available listings and additional information.