The idea of using solar panels to provide at least part, if not all of the power you need to run your home seems like a great idea, until you actually start to price out the panels and getting them installed. The panels and installation can top over $20,000. There are several alternatives to paying outright for the whole process, and believe it or not it is even possible to get solar panels for free!
The most common ways to get solar panels for free is to either use some form of government assistance or work with a local power company depending on where you live. The government often offers special energy efficiency grants that provide access to things like solar panels to populations that normally could not afford them. The grants are often area specific and may have income restrictions associated with each grant type. If you do not qualify for grants or they are not available in your area, there are also tax credits often available to balance any upfront costs of getting solar panels. While this route would require an investment upfront, the money would be returned through the tax credits for no long term or net costs.
The second way to get free solar panels is to contact your local power company to see what kind of programs they offer to increase the use of solar panels in your area. Many companies based on the region you live in will provide free solar panels for private homes in exchange for the power they provide. You would still need to buy the power, but it’s usually a much lower power rate than a traditional electric bill. The tradeoff for the free solar panels is having to purchase the power that you would get from them if you bought the panels outright. The nice thing about this option is enjoying a cleaner form of power, lower power bills and avoiding the upfront costs.
If neither of the free options work for you or the specialized programs are not available in your area, you may be able to find options for reducing the initial out of pocket to have solar panels installed. This would include investigating the payment options available from the local solar panel companies to minimize the initial investment and spread it out over time.
Whether you find a local program to work with the electric company to get solar panels for free or use a government grant to recover the costs of solar panels, the use of solar power is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Even without a local or government program to get a set of free solar panels, a payment plan can make them affordable over time.