12 September

How Does the Zero Down Solar Program Work?

You may have seen advertisements or reviews about getting started with “zero
down” or “no out of pocket cost.” But what does that mean and how is it really possible?

During your solar research, you may have stumbled upon advertisements or have heard pitches of the zero down payment options. Skeptical? Sure, as one always should be before making a financial decision but in this case for solar installation, it is used now and again to publicize solar leases or solar power purchase leases (PPA).

Agreeing to the loan gives you that out of pocket experience. This option allows New Jersey homeowners to install solar on their homes with no upfront cost and a substantially smaller payment towards the solar loan. Imagine this – making that small monthly payment for the next 10 or 15 years while increasing the value of your home all the while avoiding the inevitable rise of electric rates and having no electricity bill.

Financing Options for Solar Panels

The three options each have benefits over the others.
1. Lease

This is basically like leasing a car from a dealership. The solar company is the dealership
and the electric company is the gas station. Meaning you basically “rent” your panels
from the company for a price and if your panels size does not eliminate your electric bill,
you pay the electric company also. However, you will always pay less and save money at
the end of the day. The contract term is usually 15-20 yrs.
Benefit: $0 down Payment
Lower cost for system compared to ownership
You pay less for electricity.
Company is responsible for panel care.
Points to Notice:
You have two bills
15-20-year contract
Don’t have benefits that come with ownership.

2. PPA

This contract is like a partnership. A lot like a basic lease, except you basically switch out your
electricity provider to the owner of the panels. A third party buys the panels for you and in
exchange they provide you a fixed lower rated price compared to the electric company. The
contract term is also 10-20 years.
Benefit: $O down payment
Lower cost for system compared to ownership
Panels are not your responsibility.

Regardless of what the panels produce, your bill is the same.
You don’t get a system at the same price of ownership.
Points of Notice:
You pay to a third party .
10-20 year contract
ALL benefits of ownership goes to third party owner.

3. Ownership

In this contract, you become the owner of the system. Usually $0 down payment, but you pay
instalments for the ownership. Like buying a car, you apply for a loan and finance the system.
You get all the benefits of going solar. Like access to the SREC system, the Federal ITC program,
and Rebates. This ownership contract is for 25 years.
Benefits: $0 down payment.
You are the owner – No third parties.
No Electric Bill or Lower electricity bill.
Company9s responsible for maintenances.
SREC access
Federal ITC program
Rebates
Points to Notice:
Larger loan amount.
Higher standards for qualification.

So which is better, leasing or owning?

Owning can get you all of the benefits with a bigger price tag while leasing is cheaper and no benefits.

Find the right financing plan for you

Comparing the pros and cons side by side gives a better view of how you will be paying for your solar system, but when you take into account the usage of the house you will see the true cost and how they differ.

If you’d like to sit with one of our consultants to see the true costs of installing a solar system on your home, give us a call and we will create a customized solution just for you.