Zero Down Solar and PPA's: How These Agreements Work and Their Benefits

One thing you've perhaps worried about in using solar panels on your home is how much you'll pay in installation or ownership costs. While this might have kept many people from using solar technology for years, prices are starting to come down considerably. Scientific American noted late this last year that solar prices have gone down 5% for rooftop installations.

The above means solar technology in the home is definitely going to become competitive with regular energy companies in the next few years. Even so, you may still have to stay within a rigid budget. If you want to start using rooftop solar, installation or energy use charges can become even more affordable than they already are.

Many solar companies use zero down policies and PPA's, the latter meaning "power purchase agreements." let's take a look at zero down solar and PPA's to see how these agreements work in bringing more financial convenience.

How Do Zero Down Policies Work?

These agreements are basically payment plans allowing you to install a solar system on your roof without immediate cost. They let you choose a payment system you prefer where you pay your charges over time. It works quite similarly to how you pay off your regular energy bill, yet with a substantially lower rate.

This typically works through a solar leasing system where you just pay over time while preventing concern about owning the solar panels. In other words, the owner of the panels takes care of maintenance for you while you enjoy the amazing energy savings solar provides. Considering solar panels give you a 20%-30% cut in your regular energy bills, it makes the leasing process all the easier to do. The benefits to leasing also become exponential when you see how much money you'll save over the long haul.

Leasing Benefits Over a 20-Year Span

Evidence shows traditional energy sources are going to increase exponentially in the future. Part of this comes from statistics showing a 4% increase in residential power rates nationally over the last decade.

This is why zero down solar agreements and leasing is a great benefit to you over a lifetime. Since you're reducing your monthly electricity bill over time, you'll have enough to pay your lease in full. In many cases, you'll find 20-year leasing terms, giving you a long-term way to pay without cutting too deep.

Keep in mind some leasing agreements require you to buy your solar panels after a set number of years, so check your contract.

How Different Are PPA's from Leasing Agreements?

Power purchase agreements might look identical to leasing, though they have a major difference. With leasing agreements, you're typically paying a fixed monthly payment based on an estimated amount of electricity you may use. With a PPA, you're purchasing the power generated based on a specific per-kWh price.

Once again, though, a PPA is going to give you substantial benefits in being able to avoid high upfront costs. You won't have to worry about installation fees, any permitting, system maintenance fees, or performance upkeep.

These don't always force you into buying the solar panels after a set number of years, so it's a major win for your budget and in helping the environment. What's important, though, is to find a provider giving you a guaranteed fixed rate for decades to come. Some companies sneak in an annual price escalator based on how your solar panels age. While often being small increases, make sure you fully understand your PPA before signing on the dotted line.

It's worth noting you need good credit to qualify for a PPA, so keep yourself in good financial shape to take full advantage of these agreements. Speak to an expert today and keep learning about ways you can save energy and protect the world's natural resources with residential solar technology.

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