With many providers offering 0 down solar packages, utility customers worried about making a considerable investment in harvesting the sun’s power for their energy needs have a low-risk option at their disposal these days. Essentially, these programs enable customers to go green without saddling them with upfront out-of-pocket costs.
There are generally two variations of this money-saving deal available, and most providers offer one or even both. The first option entails a leasing program in which the provider maintains ownership of the solar equipment. Simply put, the utility customer rents the panels, inverter and other hardware from the provider at a low monthly rate. In many cases, customers are required to commit to a long-term contract that may range anywhere from several months to a number of years. A standard contract usually spans a minimum of 15 months, and monthly payments are subject to a minor annual increase of approximately 2.5 percent. At the end of the lease, unless the utility subscriber chooses to renew, the equipment is returned to the provider.
The main advantage of a 0 down solar leasing plan is the fact that most utility companies include equipment maintenance in the rental fee. As a result, a phone call is all it takes for the customer to summon a technician who will troubleshoot the system and, if necessary, replace parts or make repairs. Normal wear and tear on parts, including the inverter, should be covered at no cost to the consumer. A lease option is a hassle-free, affordable solution for consumers who are looking for a worry-free system with low monthly payments.
A second option for obtaining 0 down solar is to sign up for a loan package. Several utility providers offer in-house financing or work with a bank or investor to secure financing on behalf of the consumer. Unlike a lease, a loan ultimately allows the utility customer to own the system outright after the completion of the loan agreement. Various contract terms are available, allowing consumers to choose the most cost-efficient loan for their budget in terms of number and amount of the monthly payments. Whichever plan is chosen, the customer will find peace of mind in the predictability and stability of the loan payments.
Because 0 down solar loans and leasing options are both financing vehicles, credit checks are generally required prior to approval. In either scenario, however, the utility customer saves money from the get-go and can expect to see a decrease in monthly utility bills going forward. The switch from standard electricity to an environmentally friendly system is greatly facilitated with the elimination of upfront investments, easing the financial burden for most consumers.
A recent survey shows 97 percent of Americans overestimate the cost of going solar, and although many would consider the switch if they could get around the perceived high start-up cost, most cite budgetary considerations as the number one hurdle. Federal, state and local incentives have, in fact, reduced the cost of purchasing wind or sun powered systems considerably in recent years, with some utility customers able to cut the purchase price by as much as half. Plans offering 0 down solar further reduce that investment to practically nothing, turning the financial concerns of going green into a thing of the past.