For decades, there has been discussion in the media about installing solar panels on our rooftops. However, until recently, few homeowners actually installed them — only those with extraordinary enthusiasm and concern about the environment. The reason — the cost of solar panels upfront, between $10,000 to $60,000. website
The hope was that solar panel costs would gradually come down to within an affordable range for the average homeowner. While the costs have gradually declined over the years, they have not yet become widely affordable.
However, a whole new business model has changed all that. A number of companies now install solar panels on the home’s roof for free, and the homeowner pays a monthly lease fee. The homeowners use the solar power generated to reduce their reliance on the electrical utility company. The lease payment plus the reduced electrical utility bill, when combined, are usually less than the homeowner’s monthly electric bill had been pre-solar. So, the homeowner has no upfront costs plus has a reduced electric monthly bill.
Commercial Solar Panels
Businesses can take advantage of a similar type of solar panel installation plan. Solar companies offer businesses a Power Purchase Agreement instead of a lease. The solar company installs the panels with no upfront investment by the business. The panels may be installed on the roof, or if there’s space, in a ground-mounted array.
The business pays the solar installer a fixed rate for the solar power that it uses. This reduces the amount of electricity that the business must draw from the electric utility. Usually the business customer experiences a reduced total electric bill, even with the payment it makes to the solar installation company for solar electricity.
Businesses experience reduced monthly electric bills and protection from volatility in electric utility rates going forward. The solar electric rate is fixed, and experiences no volatility. Reduced rate volatility can be particularly helpful when planning profitable operations.
Reliability of Solar Power
Once the cost of solar panels is no longer a factor, people often bring up worries about reliability of solar power generation. What happens at night or if it rains? In the past, many thought that people would generate electricity with solar panels and, on sunny days, store the excess in batteries to use at night or on overcast days.