Third Sun Solar has been helping homeowners and businesses in Ohio and surrounding states since 2000. The shift to clean energy is accelerating quickly as costs have gone down and solar efficiency has gone up. In most places in the world, solar is now less expensive than any other electric source!
The goal of this guide is to help answer some questions you may have as you begin your solar journey. Help us achieve our shared mission to accelerate the shift to clean energy!
Many of you have been asking about the different ads you see on Facebook, and if we offer the same. We’ve addressed some of the most common questions we get below.
- Free solar – Some solar companies misleadingly use the word “free” but what they’re referring to is a long-term low-interest loan. Often, they offer what appears to be a very low-interest rate, but they secretly add 15 – 25% to the cost of the system to buy down the rate from their loan partner. It’s important not to assume that a lower rate is a better deal, as the full turnkey cost of the system is likely to be higher plus the lifetime cost of interest payments.
- Money back when you go solar – There is no “special program” or government issued solar stimulus program. To receive money back when you purchase your system, you’re simply borrowing more money than a solar system costs and getting some of it back.
- New local incentives are making solar more accessible now – The truth is, there aren’t any local or state incentives for solar in Ohio, and that’s the way it’s been for a while now. In fact, recent legislation has taken aim at making solar even more inaccessible. While this legislation didn’t affect the economics for residential solar, it’s an indication of the priorities of our state government. Until 2021, the Federal Tax Credit for solar remains available to homeowners and stands as the largest cost savings to homeowners. We aren’t sure if there will be state or federal incentives on the horizon after that, which makes now the perfect time to take advantage of what is available.
We could offer a lot of what you see advertised online, but we pride ourselves in making sure our customers are successfully set up for as many true tax credits as possible. We advise our clients to work with their tax professional to determine their credits. We would never want to see any of our customers set up for negative tax audits.
The Research Stage
Know your options. One of the best parts of the solar market right now is that there is a lot of information available to help you weight all of your options.
- Research online – Check for reviews on Google, Facebook, Solar Reviews and the Better Business Bureau. Look for any complaints. Consider if the company has a certified electrician on staff, which you can find out here. Consider how long the company has been in business and if they’re likely to be around to honor their warranty.
- Solar is visible –if you have friends or neighbors who own a solar system, ask them where they got it! How has their experience with the system been so far? How was the company the selected as an installation partner?
- Ask questions – Solar Consultants are trained solar educators. Ask as many questions as you need before you make the commitment. If a potential installer has difficulty or isn’t willing to give you clear answers to your technical or logistical questions, we recommend getting a second opinion.
Solar Payment Options
We can help you choose the option that best works for you: cash purchase, conventional financing, or a special solar loan.
We work with specialized solar loan providers such as the Clean Energy Credit Union and Mosaic. These lenders use just the solar equipment as collateral and do not secure the loan with your home equity. They are fast and easier to work with.
- Multiple term options for repayment, with a 25+ year warranty for solar
- Take advantage of tax credits to reduce price of system
- No prepayment penalty
- Solar is considered an asset to house, reflected at resale and property evaluation
Reap the rewards of energy generation for the lifetime of the installation when you purchase your solar energy system upfront.
Cash purchase is always available to customers. For homeowners equipped to pay for their system up front, cash purchase has the highest return on investment.
The investment tax credit, otherwise known as the solar tax credit will allow you to deduct 26% of the cost of installing a solar system from your federal taxes. This is about a $4,000 – $8,000 average savings for homeowners who go solar in 2020.
The solar tax credit will remain at 26% for solar systems completed and placed in service before December 31, 2020. The tax credit will be reduced to 22% in 2021. After 2021 there will be no solar tax credit for residential customers. However, a 10% credit for commercial entities will remain.
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