Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions we receive about how solar works, and what you can expect on your bills.
Purchasing Your Solar System
Can I buy out my agreement?
If you went solar with a power purchase agreement or lease agreement, you do have the option to buy out your agreement at certain points in the contract. To “buy out” simply means to purchase your system.
Note: Once you purchase your system, operations and maintenance are no longer covered under your original agreement. You will still be covered by any applicable service or workmanship warranties, but these are not facilitated through us.
At what points in the contract can I buy my agreement out?
For both leases and power purchase agreements, the first time your system is eligible for purchase is on the first day of the sixth year of your agreement. (Note: Your agreement officially begins on your “Term Commencement Date”. This is the date your billing begins.)
The system is eligible for purchase beginning on the date mentioned above, and throughout the rest of the agreement.
How much will it cost to purchase my system?
Each solar system is custom-designed for your home, and unique to your situation. If you’d like a quote, please contact our customer care team at (888) 309-9779, and they will be able to provide you one within a few days.
What are the advantages to purchasing my system?
The advantages to purchasing your solar system are receiving a discount for early payment, and not having to worry about making monthly payments anymore.
What are the disadvantages to purchasing my system?
The disadvantages to purchasing your solar system are that you are no longer covered under the contract for monitoring, operations, or maintenance. If something goes wrong with your system, you may still be covered under equipment and workmanship warranties, but these are limited.
Can I purchase my system before the first day of the sixth year of my agreement?
Unfortunately, we’re unable to allow purchases before the sixth year of your agreement. Part of the reason we were able to give you such a discounted rate on your solar energy is because our company collects certain tax and treasury incentives on most projects, and we are required to maintain ownership until these benefits are fully executed.
Why does my solar rate increase each year?
Many of our agreements contain “escalators”, which raise the price you pay for solar incrementally each year. The standard escalator is 2.9%, but can differ from agreement to agreement.
This 2.9% increase is not an arbitrary number. This rate was chosen for a couple different reasons. For one, the average annual inflation rate in the U.S. is estimated at about 3.22% (see here).
Secondly, many solar rates start much lower than standard utility rates. It’s not uncommon to see, even with the 2.9% annual increase, your solar rates remaining below the price you were paying the utility companies when you first signed up, even after 20 years of increases.
(Note: Additionally, to your benefit, the chances that utility prices will rise over that time seems very likely. Most utilities are publicly traded companies, and need to continue catering to shareholders – rate increases are one of the ways they do this.)
How much can I expect to save with my solar system?
One of the most sought-after benefits of solar power boom in recent years is the potential savings on your utility bills. Because of our pricing model, we’re often able to offer clients rates much lower than their utility company charges for electricity.
Because your solar system was custom-designed for your home and situation, there are many different factors that play into how much money you can save. These include weather, system performance, solar rate, utility rate, and how much electricity you consume. While it’s difficult to determine exact savings, we’re happy to provide calculated estimates for you. Please call (888) 939-4443, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Why am I still receiving a utility bill after going solar?
The majority of our power purchase agreements and leases are referred to as “Grid-Tied Systems”. This means that while your solar system will provide you a portion of your power, it is still connected to the utility grid.
This works to your advantage because when your solar system produces more energy than is used in the home at any given time, the excess energy goes straight to the utility company as credits.
Similarly, at night when your solar panels aren’t producing power, you draw energy from the utility company just like you did before you had solar. You’re able to do this now because you have what’s called Net Energy Metering – it means you can both use electricity from the grid and deliver electricity to the grid.