Are you a Rhode Island resident? In 2020, it was one of the first American states to vow to produce electricity entirely through renewable energy by 2030. To implement this, the Energy Resources Department developed various policies. Today, 11% of its electricity source is solar power, and more than 120k homes can benefit from it. Hence, as part of this state, you can minimize your carbon footprint and save money by opting for solar panels for your home. Usually, these installations cost USD $15k or higher, which can be recouped in the long term. But you can avoid the massive upfront installation expense through other means.
Have you heard companies talking about free solar panels in RI? While it sounds unbelievable, there are ways to make this journey extremely affordable with options like a power purchase agreement (PPA). Let’s explore how it works and more.
As the name suggests, it is a financial agreement between homeowners and solar energy companies. The service providers help you install, operate, and maintain the solar system at your property. As a homeowner, you pay for energy based on consumption per hour, which typically costs less than grid electricity. While the solar power company's interest lies in selling the produced energy, customers save money upfront on hardware and can benefit from the reduced energy bill. Hence, it makes your entry into the clean energy world easier and more affordable.
With a PPA, you pay monthly installation, maintenance, and repair charges. It makes your transition from grid electricity to solar panels hands-off. Since it tends to be a long-term contract, you don't have to worry about renewals and other things every time. Some also believe that these contracts charge lower energy rates than traditional energy. Still, it's better to be thorough with the agreement to know you have made the right deal.
Things to consider when opting for a solar PPA
Signing up for a solar power PPA can be a good decision for many, especially those who cannot buy a solar system and enjoy energy bill savings. PPA will help reduce your upfront investment burden and time-consuming installation pressure. But if you want tax incentives and energy credits, buying the system outright will be helpful. But maintenance and installation will be your burden. With PPA, you can also relax in these areas. You don’t have to look into the complicated process.
Some wonder if companies advertise free solar systems while such arrangements don't exist. However, PPAs technically make your transition to green energy a no-upfront-cost solution. Solar leases also offer similar benefits if you have been wondering about it. But PPA saves you more throughout the contract period because charges vary based on the solar panel's energy production. Suppose your rooftop solar panels generated 800 kWh of electricity in July, and the solar power company charged USD $0.12 per kWh. Going by this, your charges for that specific month will be USD $96. However, the panels generated just 600 kWh of energy in December due to reduced sun hours. In that case, you will pay USD $72. With solar leases, you don’t get this flexibility because of the fixed rates.