Save up to 25% on your solar power installation!
- CURRENT has partnered with a new, cutting-edge solar company that brokers solar power the same way we broker EVs. They take care of all your solar needs the same way CURRENT takes care of all your electric vehicle needs.
- Pick My Solar has created a revolutionary online solar marketplace experience which makes obtaining solar installation bids incredibly easy. Save up to $6,000: Pick My Solar’s process is painless and free: you enter a few facts on the PMS bid generator. Solar experts review these facts, call you to discuss your project, then post your installation needs on their “live platform,” which is reviewed every day by high quality solar installation companies in competition with each other. These companies submit bids to PMS, which are reviewed based on 20 critical criteria.
- Pick My Solar picks the 3 best bids and advises you which option makes the most sense for you. This includes counseling you on the financial options available. Then they oversee the entire installation from start to finish, making sure you’re satisfied with the results. Acting as homeowner advocates, Pick My Solar obtains bids for customers which are generally $6,000 below market. PMS clients report savings of up to 25% compared to the bids they obtained from solar installers direct. The environmentalists at Pick My Solar are dedicated to getting your solar at the lowest possible price. Their process is quick, easy and FREE to homeowners.
There are 3 ways to pay for your Solar energy system: purchase, lease and PPA.
A traditional purchase means you either finance or pay cash to buy your system outright.
Pros: You own the system and don’t need to return it or buy it at the end of a lease. You enjoy 100% of the savings benefits and tax credits and/or rebates. Typical finance plans extend up to 160 months, but the system will actually pay for itself within 5 to 8 years in the form of power cost savings.
Cons: You are responsible for upkeep and maintenance. The initial out-of-pocket expense can be significant.
Lease means you contract with a provider to pay them monthly for the use of a system that you can choose to return or buy after a certain amount of time, typically 25 years. There is generally also an upfront payment, although in some instances you can get a no upfront cost lease.
Pros: The lease owner handles all system maintenance and upkeep. Sometimes the warranties on all parts and installation are extended to cover the entire length of the lease. If at the end of the lease, you decide you don’t want that system any longer, you can give it back. In some cases, you may be able to upgrade to newer, more efficient panels, inverters and other parts later in the lease for a prorated fee.
Cons: Lease periods generally extend to 25 years, but it only takes 5 to 8 years for a system to pay for itself; therefore in some cases, the money you pay for the lease could cover the cost of a purchase.
3. PPA (Power Purchase Agreement)
PPA is a plan in which a solar provider installs a system large enough to net-zero out your electric bill and you pay a monthly pre-negotiated per kilowatt rate for energy you use to the solar provider.
Pros: The provider is responsible for maintenance and changing technology. The fixed price is lower than what you’d be paying your utility and the savings are immediate – there’s either no down payment or a very minor one.
Cons: You can’t take advantage of tax credits or rebates. The pre-negotiated watt rate may stay the same or escalate over the life of the agreement
Solar power FAQs
1. Solar panels, typically on your roof, convert sunlight into direct current (DC) power.
2. This DC power is sent through an inverter that converts the power to the standard electrical current used in your home, or alternating current (AC).
3. The AC power is fed through your electric (breaker) box and powers your home.
4. The utility meter, which measures your electric usage, is bi-directional and will measure any over-production from your solar system. The meter will spin backwards and credit you for this output current – this is called net-metering. Yes: believe it or not – some people actually receive negative balance invoices from their utility companies, because the solar system they’ve installed generates MORE power than they use!
5. The utility grid remains connected to your home, ensuring you will always have power when your panels aren't producing enough to power your home, such as at night.
A: Solar makes sense for the environment and helps you save money. With solar, you can eliminate your electric bill by buying a system outright. By doing that you’ll save the equivalent of your would-be electric bill each month while adding value to your house. With a zero-down loan, you’ll have lower payments on your solar than you would on your current electric bill. Eventually, you’ll own the system with no monthly payments or electric bill. Your house will be worth more; you’ll pay less for payments during the loan terms, and eventually, you’ll have no payments at all. If you don’t want to take out a loan, a lease will cover the majority of your electric bill. You’ll pay less than you’re paying now, and you’ll be locked in at a fixed rate.
A: Other solar companies send a salesman to your home to sit and talk to you about solar for hours. They create a high-pressure environment and want you to sign on the spot. Pick My Solar eliminates this situation and lets you decide alone, from the comfort of your home. PMS gives you the best bids and non-biased advice.
A: The answer will depend on how much electricity you use. The more you consume, the more you’ll save, but the more the system will cost more. Your exact costs and savings will depend on which you chose: a Lease, a PPA, or Purchase. The bottom line is that solar costs are going down; they’re a fraction of what they used to be. With lots of different financing options available, solar has become affordable for everyone. A solar system on your roof can return 2-5 times its value in saved electricity costs!
Over 10 to 20 years, you can save tens of thousands of dollars; sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars. When you input info about your dwelling space or office into Pick My Solar’s Bid Generator and upload your electricity bills, it allows PMS to create a definitive profile of your energy usage. With this information, Pick My Solar can provide you with very precise info about how much money you can save.
A: PMS will study the supplied information and give you an idea of how much an installation will cost. If you like the general numbers, Pick My Solar will schedule a phone call to get more information about your home, utility usage and metering capabilities. Then they’ll put together three highly accurate price projections. After you sign the Pick My Solar Estimate Agreement, PMS will post your job on their bid board. After obtaining a minimum of seven bids, PMS will carefully evaluate each bid and send you the top three to review. They’ll explain each one with you and provide experienced input on which one they think would work best for you.
A: After choosing an installer, you sign their contract, which is hosted on your secure Pick My Solar account page, comply with the payment terms and schedule the installation. Pick My Solar will remain available in an advocate capacity for questions and troubleshooting until your system is up and running.
A: Yes, it can be done. Your landlord would purchase the system and you’d have an arrangement with him/her to make the payments, which would be way less than what you’re paying now for electricity. It’s a win for everyone. If you move out, the next renter would take over the payments. It makes sense for everyone. To make this happen, PMS would need to talk to your landlord and explain the project in detail.
A: Living in a condo doesn’t stop you from being able to get solar. It just makes things a little more complicated. The roof would need to be divvied up between different owners. The installer you choose will be aware of your situation and be ready to help.
A: This shouldn’t be an issue. You will need to get approval from the HOA, but your installer will take care of most of that paperwork. It wouldn’t look good for an HOA to say no to solar, and some states, including California, have laws against HOA’s turning down solar for aesthetic reasons.
A: Solar panels use pretty basic technology. There are no moving parts and a good rain is typically all they need to keep clean and working their best. All systems are warranted for 20 years. For 25 years, notwithstanding any unforeseen complications, you can expect them to produce at least 80% or more of their predicted energy output. After that, their output declines incrementally, but on average, the lifespan of a system is 35 to 40 years.
A: Solar typically takes between 7-10 years to recoup the costs of purchasing it, but it could take as little as three years or as much as 15 years. This depends on how much your utility company’s rates are and how good of a deal you get – we’ll help you out with that. In other words, if you didn’t go solar, you would have paid your utility company the purchase price of the system in this time period. After these costs are recouped, check out your ROI!
A: Yes. Pick My Solar works with respected third-party finance providers. The typical finance plan for a solar purchase is 160 months with a 2.99% interest rate and zero down. Depending on your credit score and down payment, these terms can change. Popular Finance Options Include:
1.) Cash-out refinance – You’ll get a new 1st mortgage on your home, and pull out some equity.
2.) HEIL (Home Equity Installment Loan) – a secured loan against your home.
3.) HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) – Your house is like a bank account.
4.) Unsecured loans – There are many out there designed specifically for solar, some up to 12 years.
5.) 0% interest – Some installers will offer you 0% interest, no payments for one year. That way you have a chance to get the money together, and it won’t cost you a dime in the meantime.