Solar & Energy Conservation Financing

Though there are different reasons for buying a solar system, a common concern exists when it comes to making the final choice: What is the cost of acquiring a solar system? Presently, there are options you can exploit to take advantage of affordable financing, in addition to the available incentives that makes it easy that ever to choose solar power.

Why Choose Us

Securing capital for solar and energy upgrades is not a very big problem for the qualified individuals. At Atlanta Solar Pros, we have access to different financing options ranging from no or low interest financing to tax incentives including recent information with regards to available tax credits as well as utility rebates. An ideal energy upgrade has the potential to improve the outlook of your positive cash flow right from day one due to the energy saving as you pay off the initial investment. Usually, the financial benefits from energy upgrades can be used in paying the cost of the entire project.

Business Financing

For businesses on the other hand, getting financing will eliminate the internal debate revolving around the retention of capital and reducing the operating costs of the energy. The ROI of energy efficiency will also lead to reduced energy costs besides availing affordable power which offers better efficiencies.

Investing in strategic energy efficiency can also provide an excellent buffer against future increase in utility rates which you have no control over.

Basic Payment Methods

Cash Payment

Cash payment is the most attractive option for individuals with relatively comfortable reserves and who live in energy markets where returns on PV investments are better than other conventional types of investments. With regard to the Northern Georgia Power Market, the average annual ROI (given as ROI = Savings or annual production/system cost) from solar energy can be anything between 6% – 17% and we believe that this is an outstanding value though it might vary due to differences in the average rates of other utilities. Better yet, these returns can be viewed as relatively conservative given that they can only increase or decrease depending rates and the levels of inflation.

First Mortgages and Refinancing

Home mortgage are usually the best financing options since the interest rates are entirely tax deductible. In most of the cases, the additional amount of payment added to the mortgage payment to take care of the cost of a solar system is usually less than what is spent on the current electricity bills, hence automatically saving money each and every month. It is thus convenient for many owners to include the cost of solar system in their mortgage and refinancing since this arrangement is more convenient and less costly.

Home Equity Line of Credit

For homeowners with enough credit, home equity line of credit gives them the ability to borrow as much as they need against the equity they have on the property. Though the interest rates may vary, HELOC are usually tax deductible.

3rd Party Financing

Atlanta Solar Pros has low and no interest loan options being administered to qualified applicants through its primary lending partners. With this arrangement, the owner has adequate time to realize their federal tax credits and rebates including all the energy savings they have acquired during that duration. The effect of this will be a greatly reduced principal amount.

Bank Secured and Unsecured Loans

Most banks secured homes are home equity based which may be tax deductibles while the interest incurred in unsecured loans are never tax deductibles.

Credit Cards

Issuers of credit card often give low or zero interest rates promotional periods and these can make credit cards an attractive source of financing. Just like with the other third party financing, those looking to use credit cards a financing option can take advantage of tax credits and energy savings before the promotion ends to get reduced financing. However, it is important to have in mind the long term credit card interest rates and their non tax deductible nature which might make them a secondary option for financing a solar power system.

Energy Efficient and Improvement Mortgages

Energy Efficient Mortgages and Energy Improvement mortgages are availed by FHA and VA home loan programs for homeowners who are interested in taking energy efficient measures such as the installation of solar panels in new or existing homes. These options allow for very low interest rates for up to 5% of the total home’s value. A unique advantage of these types of financing is that they are held outside debt to income calculation when determining your eligibility or the interest rates of the main loan.

How to Reduce the Costs of financing

There are a number of ways to lower the costs of financing so to enable you get a breather on the repayments you will have to make. The following options are at your disposal:

30% Federal Tax Credit

Federal Investment Tax Credit is available from the federal government for solar hot water systems and solar electric systems for both business and personal tax purposes. An act of the United States Congress extended it for a period of up to ten years with a zero maximum tax credit amount. Both businesses and homeowners receive a 30% tax benefit for the cost of investing in clean, renewable energy systems. It is also important to note that the federal tax credit has a lifetime carryover period on personal taxes while a carryover period of five years for business taxes.

Net Metering

With Net Metering, the electric power you generate by your solar system but you don’t utilize at the time of generation is sent up to the utility grid and this excess power will be later on credited to your next bill, either quarterly or annually, depending on the contract you have.

With such an arrangement, you won’t just have a reprieve on the utility bills but also it will ensure that no solar energy produced by your system goes to waste.

The Breakdown of Solar Electric Costs

The following is a breakdown solar electric cost

Solar Panels

Takes the bulk of the cost of solar systems and accounts for approximately 40 – 50% of the total costs

Labor

Typically takes between 10 – 15% of the system cost.

Rakings, Mounts, Cabling, Connectors, Switches, Fuses

These and other necessary hardware usually consume between 10 -15% of the system cost.

Maintenance Costs

It will interest you to note that solar electric modules have no moving parts hence they do not require a lot of maintenance. At Atlanta Solar Pros, we cover the following potential issues in our optional Solar Annual Inspection and Maintenance Services:

  • Soiling – the solar energy production might go down due to dust, dirt and bird dropping on the surface of the panel, though rainwater is usually sufficient to keep the surfaces clean.
  • Cracked Panel – the panels are made of tempered glass and very strong and durable. They can also withstand a minimum of ¾ inch sized hail travelling at 120mph.
  • Animal/Birds – Squirrels are known to nibble on the wires and cause short circuits while birds are likely to make their nests around the panel region though this is pretty rough space to have a home for the animals, especially during the hot months of summer. 
  • Trees – Occasional trimming may be necessary to avoid unwanted shade and soling from the birds. 
  • Corrosion – all electrical circuits might get corroded with time. The wires should have adequate protection and all connections to be contained in enclosures so that the entire system can be safe from all agents of corrosion.

Monitor Cost

One of the prime attractions of solar energy systems is its hands off nature. Once installed, you will only have to monitor its daily operations to ensure that it’s working optimally. Whereas any system installed by Atlanta Solar Pros is guaranteed to give solid performance, there are some owners who are interested in monitoring the output of their systems on a monthly, weekly or a daily basis. Due to this, solar production monitors are increasingly becoming popular and their initial cost, including the cost of installation may take about 5% of the total system cost. We highly recommend this and we can also avail monitoring systems which gives you the ability to read the output at the inverter located near the power panel or through any computer connected to the web.

Inverter

Accounts for about 10 - 15% of the system’s cost. Most central inverters have a lifespan of 10 – 15years hence may need replacing once during the lifespan of the solar system. However, there are the more expensive micro inverters with warranties of between 20 – 30 years and these might take up to 20% of the total cost of the system.

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