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By Vivint Solar
| April 8, 2018
Rooftop solar is an exciting new way to power your home with clean, renewable energy. Vivint Solar expanded into Massachusetts in 2012, and in the past six years it’s helped more than 14,500 homes go solar. In fact, Vivint Solar has installed more residential solar energy systems than any other company in the Bay State. Throughout Massachusetts, many of our customers are saving money on their energy bills and helping the environment by reducing air pollution and using a renewable energy source.
In conversations with homeowners around the greater Boston area, however, it’s become apparent there are some misconceptions circulating about solar power. This article addresses some of the most common myths about rooftop solar.
Myth 1: There’s no way I can afford solar panels on my budget.
Rooftop solar has become much more affordable as the cost of manufacturing solar panels has come down. Vivint Solar installs solar panels at little to no upfront cost with power purchase agreements, and sells systems at competitive prices. The company also has relationships that can help you finance the purchase— or you can use your preferred lender.
You can also take advantage of incentives from the government for going solar by applying for state rebates or federal tax credits. For example, the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) allows you to deduct an amount equal to 30 percent of your system’s cost from your federal tax liability, which typically represents thousands of dollars.
Learn how the Lacoco family in Chelmsford embraced solar energy:
Myth 2: My roof doesn’t get enough sunlight to make solar panels worth it.
Would you be surprised to learn Germany – which generally gets as much sunshine as Alaska – is the worldwide leader in solar power? Although it seems counterintuitive, rooftop solar is a viable solution even in overcast climates.
An easy way to see how many hours of usable sunlight your roof receives per year is Google’s Project Sunroof, which provides a free analysis in seconds. You can also get a consultation from Vivint Solar at no cost. A team of technicians will conduct an on-site survey and evaluate your roof size, pitch and direction to make sure solar is a good fit for you — and for most people it is. Remember, even on days when the sun isn’t shining, solar panels continue to produce energy.
Myth 3: I can expect to pay and save the same amount as my neighbor with solar panels.
Solar is not one-size-fits-all — each system is custom-designed for a roof and the amount of sunlight it receives. Even on the same street, the orientation of your roof may mean you receive more or less sunlight than your neighbor. This will increase the amount of electricity you can produce but could also mean a larger monthly payment than your neighbor with a smaller array.
Myth 4: Solar doesn’t make sense if the panels don’t cover 100 percent of my power.
While rooftop solar cannot typically offset your entire electricity bill, it often decreases the amount you pay each month — even though you’re using the same amount of energy. Vivint Solar customers typically save up to 20 percent on their energy costs because they end up purchasing less electricity from their utility. Additionally, Massachusetts supports “net metering,” which allows you to sell excess power you generate back to the grid and receive a credit on your monthly bill.
Myth 5: Solar isn’t an option for me because I’ve already talked to a solar company and I don’t qualify.
Just because someone told you “no” once doesn’t mean you can’t join the clean energy revolution. Solar providers have different criteria for determining qualified customers, and key factors like minimum credit scores can vary from company to company. There’s also more than one way to go solar in Massachusetts – you can buy your panels outright, take out a loan and pay for your panels over time, or buy power from a solar company who own the panels installed at your home. If you didn’t qualify for a specific solar plan previously, another one may be a better fit. That being said, there are several situations that typically disqualify you from going solar, such as if you rent your home or your roof is nearing the end of its working life.
Myth 6: I won’t live in my house long enough to get my investment in rooftop solar back.
Some people think solar panels on your roof make your home less marketable, but that may not be true… According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, rooftop solar systems in California added a premium to the sales price of homes reflecting a return on investment of approximately 97 percent. Solar is designed to be a long-term investment for your home, but it won’t take decades to pay dividends.
Myth 7: Using a power purchase agreement puts a lien on my home and means I could lose my house or never be able to sell it.
Under a power purchase agreement (PPA), Vivint Solar designs, purchases equipment for and installs a solar energy system on your home at no initial cost to you. Vivint Solar records a notice in the county property records to disclose the fact that it owns the solar energy system. Vivint Solar does not record a lien on your home, and regularly works with customers and their financial institutions to make sure that there is no confusion.
PPAs have enabled hundreds of thousands of people across the country to adopt solar power. PPAs are not the only option for going solar; you also have the option to purchase the solar equipment, and may be able to finance the purchase.
Join the thousands of Boston residents who have selected Vivint Solar as their rooftop solar provider and make the decision to go solar today.