Solar energy is growing in popularity, due mostly to the potential savings on electricity bills. This energy is produced by installing photovoltaic cells on your roof or somewhere else on your property. These cells are oriented to capture as much of the sun’s energy as possible. The sunlight is changed into electricity which then can be used to run the electric devices in your home.
It’s also possible to return any excess electrical energy over what you use back to the local electric company for credits toward future energy usage.
Sounds great, right? And it is.
But, like happens so often with good ideas, there are things you must look out for in making the switch to solar energy. In this case, perhaps the biggest thing is purchasing your system or leasing it.
Why is this a huge issue? Mainly because some companies possibly don’t tell consumers all they need to know.
Leasing your system, called a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), appears to be a really good option. Basically, you lease the equipment needed to convert to solar energy rather than buying it. Thus, there may be a smaller initial outlay. You then agree to pay the solar energy company a set amount per kilowatt hour (kWh) for electricity which is less than what is charged by your utility company. The solar company installs and maintains your system at no cost to you.
Again, sounds great, doesn’t it?
There are some potential drawbacks, however. One of these is the cost per kWh to lease. While this cost is usually less than the charge from the utility company, it is also usually much more than the cost for the same energy to you if you own your system. In addition, you will typically have escalators or yearly increases in your cost. Plus, you’re usually locked in to that charge for up to 20 years. And at the end of that time, you are no closer to owning the system than you were when it was first installed.
If you buy your system, you not only own the equipment, you get all the savings. And most of the time, these savings can be substantial. You will have an initial outlay of money, but this is typically recouped in a few years through your savings. You also can become eligible for incentives from state and/or federal sources. Many locales will have loan deals available for you to help in purchasing your system.
You get to choose which of these options is best for you. Whichever one you choose, be careful to choose a reputable installer. Alternate Energy in Plymouth, MA, is one of those whose reputations are beyond reproach. Call or contact them today.
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