Solar Financing Archives | Shine Solar

Category: Solar Financing


How Much Do Solar Panels Save the Average Customer?

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the U.S. reached 58.3 gigawatts of installed solar power capacity by Q2 2018. That’s enough to power 11 million American homes. But there are roughly 115 million housing units in the U.S. That means a large portion of the population isn’t enjoying the benefits and savings of solar energy. But how much do solar panels save customers who install them? Investing in solar comes with an up-front cost; are solar panels worth it? If you’re considering solar panels for your home or business, this article will help you understand the savings you could enjoy.

How Are Solar Panels Different?

When sunlight hits a solar panel, it causes a chain reaction that results in a flow of electrons. It’s this flow of electrons that becomes solar-generated electricity. In typical power arrangements, you purchase power from a provider by hooking up your home or business to the grid. You have little control over where your power comes from. Some power companies have a monopoly on certain parts of the United States. What’s more, you’re subject to power prices. These may fluctuate depending on how your power is generated. For example, if you rely on a coal-fired power plant, your power costs could go up if the price of coal increases. With solar panels, you can generate all or some of your electricity on your own property. The sun is a reliable source of energy. Installing solar panels mitigates much of the regular costs of power.

How Much Do Solar Panels Save Homeowners Money?

The average electric bill for U.S. homeowners was $111.67 in 2017. That means the average homeowner is spending $1,340 each year on power consumption. Solar panels are designed to last. They often keep generating the same amount of power for decades. If you were able to supply your home’s total power needs using solar, you’d save $26,800 over 20 years. That means solar panels could pay your up-front costs and then some. In some cases, you can even sell excess power back to the grid. Of course, the effectiveness of your solar panels depends on where you live and how much shading your roof has. Even if you don’t intend to stay in your home for much longer, solar panels can increase your home value. According to one study, homes outside of California that have solar panels can sell for $15,000 more than those without.

How Much Do Solar Panels Save Businesses Money?

If you’re a business owner, you may be skeptical about commercial solar. The market can be a confusing place, and capital investments in solar may be low on your to-do list. Most businesses want to see a return on every investment. Even if it makes sense to spend your money elsewhere, you can rest assured that an investment in solar will pay off. And it isn’t just Fortune 500 companies adopting solar power. This technology is available to small businesses, too. In fact, small businesses stand to benefit the most from solar power. Across the U.S., the average monthly commercial energy bill was $654.79 in 2017. Unlike homes, commercial properties vary in size and energy usage. But solar energy can greatly reduce commercial energy bills for even the most demanding companies. According to one analysis, solar energy can offset a business’s energy use by 75.3%. Through these savings, businesses can pay off the initial costs of installation quickly. Then, they can enjoy energy savings for years.

What Are the Other Benefits of Solar Power?

Whether your key priority is savings or not, there are numerous other benefits to installing solar panels. For environmentally-conscious homeowners, they’re a great way to act against pollution and climate change. Many homeowners like the independence that solar panels give them, too. Nobody likes being reliant on a giant utility company. Up until now, there was little homeowners could do to obtain energy independence. For businesses, solar could be just what you need to start a new green initiative. Not only will you enjoy savings, but your customers will appreciate the fact that you care about the environment. Solar energy can also help you adopt a more tech-friendly business model. Solar panels are a low-maintenance option for businesses and homeowners. The technology is rapidly changing, too. We can expect new advancements in solar energy to make the process more efficient and more cost-effective in the future. Of course, the biggest benefit of solar has nothing to do with costs or marketing. Solar panels are an important tool for reducing damage to the environment. Every solar panel installed on the roof of a home or business brings us one step closer to a renewable energy future.

Get Started with Solar

So, how much do solar panels save the average customer? It depends on where you live and what your current energy costs are. It also depends on whether you’re a home or business owner. But solar panels are almost always a good investment. Some people are concerned about solar panel cost. Some states may offer tax incentives to help you invest in solar. The federal government has also authorized 30% solar tax rebate through the end of 2019. It’s best to think of solar as an investment that pays returns or dividends. By searching for ways to offset your initial costs, you can maximize your return. But even without the tax credits, solar may be a worthwhile investment for you. After the initial cost, you could save thousands on your energy costs. You can even increase the price of your home if you intend to put it on the market soon. Are you ready to learn how solar energy can reduce your home or business energy costs? Schedule a solar analysis of your property with Shine Solar today.

What Types of Solar Financing is Available?

You’ve been thinking about installing solar on your home. But, you don’t know if you can afford it. How much will it cost you? Installing solar panels in your home comes with tons of benefits. It might seem too expensive for you. But, did you know that there’s financing available? You’ve many options available when it comes to solar financing. But, what is the right one for you? Not sure where to start? We’ll tell you all there’s to know about the types of solar panel financing. Ready to learn more?

Solar Financing: What Are Your Options?

In 2006, the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was put in place to promote the use of solar systems. Since then the cost of installing solar systems has gone down by about 73%. Now the tax credit available is the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit. You could be eligible for up to 30% tax credit. Your tax professional can give you a better idea about your eligibility for this tax credit. Solar systems are becoming more popular because of the tax credits, availability and environmental benefits. When it comes to solar panel financing, you’ve options ranging from solar loans to your local PACE program. Here are the most popular financing options available:

Secured Solar Loans

You might’ve heard about secured loans before. Secured solar loans work the same way. The only difference is that these use your home as collateral. The loan terms for secured solar loans are from 5 to 20 years. The interest rate will depend on the requirements from the lender and your credit profile. Due to many of the other better options on this list, rates are not as competitive as they once were.

Unsecured Solar Loans

If you haven’t heard about unsecured loans before, the main difference is that for these loans you won’t have to give any collateral. This would be a guarantee of payment. When it comes to unsecured solar loans, the collateral equivalent is the solar panels. This type of loans doesn’t have the FHA guarantee benefit. Unsecured solar loans have the same terms as secured solar loans. The terms are between 5 to 20 years. The solar loan interest rates for these loans are between 3.5 to 9 percent. The rates they offer you might be higher than for a secured loan. But, you aren’t placing any collateral on the line. Some people may consider these loans less attractive because they aren’t tax deductible. Also, the origination fees for these loans may be higher than the fees for secured solar loans.

Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs (PACE)

This program is available for residential and commercial properties. States and municipalities offer these programs. You should do your own research to make sure your state or municipality offers this type of program. Right now, more than 30 states offer the Commercial PACE program. The Municipal PACE program uses your home as the collateral. There might be FHA guarantee available. To make sure, you should do your research and contact your local PACE office for more information. As of this moment, the residential PACE program is available in 3 states. The states of California, Missouri, and Florida have their own programs. California is the state with the most programs. It offers 10 programs. The loan terms vary depending on the program you choose. The interest rates for this type of financing are 3 percent or more. Besides the benefit of PACE being a government program, this type of solar panel financing is tax deductible.

Solar Leases

A solar lease can be seen as renting your solar equipment which is pretty similar to what you are doing with the utility company. You’ll agree to make a fixed payment or rent every month for the use of the solar equipment. The payment is set using an estimate of the amount of electricity the equipment will produce on a monthly basis. You pay the company for the right to use the equipment and the electricity it produces. When you get a solar lease your payments aren’t eligible for tax credit. Since you aren’t the owner of the equipment, the tax credits belong to the company who’s leasing you the equipment. Most of the solar leases are for a term between 20 to 25 years. At the end of the lease term you don’t own anything. So you miss out on benefits like home value increasing and so forth.

Solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)

A PPA is almost identical to a solar lease, except that you don’t have a fixed monthly payment, you only pay for the power that you actually use. If you cannot qualify for a solar loan, a PPA is you next best option Many people use the term Solar PPAs interchangeably with Solar Leases. Even though both work in a similar way, they aren’t the same. When you get a Solar PPA, you’re paying to buy the electricity that generates the system at a set per-KWh price. Again foregoing any ownership benefits.

Should You Get Solar Panel Financing?

Yes, you should get solar financing if you want to get your solar system for your home or business. Remember that not all types of financing are equal. So before contacting the financing company, you should do your own research about your options. If you’re thinking about getting solar equipment for your business, the terms of the loans or leases won’t be the same as for a residential purchase. When you aren’t sure about purchasing your equipment, a lease or PPA might be the best option for you. Look for a financing option that meets your needs. So you’ve decided to finance your solar panels. Don’t know how to get started? We can help! Contact us to get your solar analysis today. P.S. All interest rates above are as of this writing and should not be considered a quote for you.

Your Guide to 2018 Missouri Solar Rebates

Are you ready for the future? The price of solar power has decreased by 80% in the last decade and experts report that it will continue to decrease. As solar technology improves, more homes and businesses are making the switch to renewable energy. More than 1 million American homeowners and business owners have installed solar energy systems. Missouri solar power is expected to increase in the next several years. Solar power is a renewable source of energy and is used to heat and cool homes or businesses. It can increase the asking price of a home by more than $10,000 and is a project with a good return. If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, you should look into the potential of solar power. Missouri solar power users should be aware of several rebates from the state and the federal government. Read on to learn about them.

Federal Investment Tax Credit

Missouri solar power users who buy solar panels directly or take out a loan are eligible for a 30% installation tax credit from the federal government. Typically, solar power installations run from about $10,000 to $20,000 with an option to buy after 10 years of payments. If you get the Missouri solar power users discount, you will save up to $6,000 in the first year. Experts report that the value of your home will increase by more than $15,000 over the course of 10 years. You should also wind up with more than $8,000 in profit because your solar power system will generate more electricity than your home will use.

Business Energy Investment Tax Credit

In addition to residential rebates, the federal government offers credits to commercial and industrial properties. If you invest in a solar system that generates electricity to heat or cool your business, you could receive up to a 30% credit. This commercial tax credit also applies to wind generators, microturbines, and hybrid solar systems. It does not cover passive solar systems, so make sure you talk to your installer and get the right kind of system. Hybrid solar systems use the sun’s energy to provide light to a business or industrial complex. They use fiber optic “distributed” sunlight and are often combined with heating and cooling solar systems.

Columbia Water & Light Solar Rebate

As long as your Missouri solar power system meets Renewable Portfolio Standards, you could be eligible for a rebate from Columbia Water & Light. When your solar installation generates a surplus of electricity, Columbia Water & Light will reward its customers with up to $5,000 for 10 kilowatts of electricity. They pay $500 per kilowatt that is returned to the power grid and encourage their customers to “go solar.” One of the best things about new solar panel systems is that they look just like roofing tiles. You don’t have to worry about installing solar panels that are bulky eyesores and you don’t have to worry about ruining the look of your home or business.

Empire District Electric Solar Rebate

Missouri solar system homeowners who are customers of Empire District Electric will receive a rebate up to $0.50 per watt for system installation. The company is currently accepting rebate applications on a first-come, first-served basis. Customers must have a permanent solar installation that uses new equipment. The warranty on the solar panels must be for at least 10 years, and the customer must have an active account with Empire District Electric. As long as the homeowner or business owner meets these requirements, they are eligible for rebates. They can receive up to $2 per excess watt that gets uploaded back into the power grid.

Kansas City Power & Light Solar Rebate

Active customers who install Missouri solar panel systems can apply for a rebate of up to $0.50 per watt of solar power that gets installed on their home or business. An average solar power system requires between 25 and 35 panels and produces at least 900 kilowatts per month. A 30-panel system that produces 250 kilowatts per panel would be a 7,500-kilowatt system, eligible for up to $3,750 in rebates. As long as you have a net metered solar panel installation, you would be eligible for a rebate on any excess power produced. Kansas City Power & Light wants customers to know that customer rebates will vary depending on their application date. Check with them to determine eligibility and to see updates.

Benefits of Missouri Solar Power

When you start to consider installing solar power, you have to realize that it’s a major step toward reducing your carbon footprint. Solar power is sustainable, clean energy that has been harnessed for over a century. Home and business owners who invest in solar power are typically breaking even within five to eight years. They are also seeing savings of more than $20,000 over the course of 20 years. Recent studies show that switching to solar power on a large scale could save more than 50,000 lives every year. Asthma and heart congestion due to pollution is a big killer in larger cities around the world. When you switch to solar power, you’re making a contribution to clean air and fresh water. You’re investing in a system that will pay for itself in the long term and generate rebates from state and federal agencies.

Schedule a Free Solar Analysis with Shine Solar

We’re committed to helping home and business owners install solar systems, and we offer a free solar analysis. We’ll look at your property and see how much sunlight your roof gets every day. We’ll walk you through financing options and get more information about your monthly heating and cooling costs. Shine Solar will not charge you before your solar system is installed. We offer 12-year workmanship guarantees and lifetime system monitoring. When you decide to upgrade your solar panel system, we will buy the original panels back at a rate of 50%. We also offer free re-installation if you replace your room within the first five years of owning our Missouri solar equipment. Drop us a line to learn more about solar panels. We welcome new customers and are looking forward to meeting with you in person. We serve Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Kansas City, Missouri.

The Truth About Connection Fees

The Truth About Connection Fees

How do Shine Solar customers get their flat rate?

Here at Shine Solar, education is our number one goal as solar is still so new in the Midwest. This is why we often share what savings some of our clients are receiving so you can learn the truth regarding solar savings. For example, one of our favorite videos is this one, which shows a customer’s utility bill over three months.    
Electricity for Only $15/Month?

Our customer sent us his 3 recent electric bills, and each one was for about $15/month. That's right… after GOING SOLAR, the total amount he pays the electric company every month is only $15! Hundreds of homeowners in Northwest Arkansas and Southwest Missouri have gone solar and are experiencing similar results. I explain it all in this video!

Posted by Shine Solar on Friday, August 11, 2017
    The questions we always get with this video is, “How is their utility bill the same price of $15 for three months in a row? That can’t be the truth.” This $15 charge isn’t from the electricity this customer is using, but is actually the connection fee the utility company charges each month.

What is the connection fee?

The connection fee is the amount your utility company charges each month for you to be connected to their grid. When people install solar panels onto their homes, they often stay connected to their utility company. Their utility company then acts as a backup for their home if they ever use more energy than they are producing. This also allows customers to take advantage of net metering, where you receive credit for any excess energy that you send back into the grid. You can read more about net metering here. Connection Fee Truth   Thanks to net metering, when you receive your electricity bill at the end of the month it is likely that you will only see your connection fee. The current debate regarding the connection fee is that some utility companies are raising their connection fees to make up for the money they are losing from residents going solar. This has been a huge debate in states like California and Arizona. However, since solar is still so new to the Midwest, there hasn’t been too much of this happening here. And it is this very price uncertainty that has led millions of people to choose solar power. The sun continues to provide a free source of energy. Solar panels continue to drop in price (80% since 2008!). And, the best news of all, solar payments don’t randomly increase. Solar payments remain the same price.

Why do we have it?

You may be wondering, “Why do we stay connected to the grid if they will charge us these connection fees?”. Right now, the technology for solar battery backup is not cost-effective. So staying on the grid and paying these connection fees is actually the better and cheaper option right now. But don’t worry, as solar battery technology develops, there will always be the opportunity to go off the grid. Receive a free solar analysis today to learn about your future savings from going solar. 

How Much is Solar Going to Cost Me?

How much is Solar going to cost me?

Solar Home   This is the question that we get from everyone. We know that solar prices have been going down lately as solar technology is developing and improving. But just how much does it cost to go solar? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to give to someone. Every home is different, so even though the cost to go solar is at low price for everyone, it is going to be different for each homeowner. This is why we offer a free solar analysis to EVERYONE. A solar analysis is where we calculate the cost for you to go solar and how much you will save by going solar.  

How do we calculate the price?

  Here are the steps that we go through when figuring out how much solar will cost for you:  

1. How much power do you consume?

The first thing we look at is how much power you have used throughout the past year. To complete this step, we will ask you for copies of your electric bills for the past 12 months. We use this to figure out the exact amount of energy your home consumes.

Utility Bills


2. How much roof space do you have?

At this step we will look at how much space you have on your roof for solar panels. This includes looking to see if there are any trees or other objects that will block the sun from getting to your solar panels. We will also look at whether your home is south-, east-, or west-facing, as this can affect how much sun will reach your solar panels.  

3. How many panels do you need?

Cost Proposal team After looking at how much energy your home uses and how much sunlight your panels will be getting, we can figure out how many panels you will need. We determine how big your solar system will need to be in order to produce the energy that your home needs. Our proposal team will be able to build a proposal that will show how many panels you need and where they will need to placed to receive the best amount of sunlight.  

4. Your cost and savings

At this point we will have the price for you to go solar! We will also be able to tell you how much you will be saving every month from your electrical bill. You will save money every month as your solar payment will replace your electrical bill.  

The way to energy ownership

Looking at the total amount of a solar system can be overwhelming, but it is like looking at the total price of a car or home. It seems like a huge price, but when it is broken up into monthly payments then it is more manageable. You can read more about solar financing options here. Solar Owners Right now, you are paying a certain amount to your electrical company every month in order to have energy in your homes. Your utility company can raise those monthly payments at any time and you don’t have any control over it. By going solar, you will still have monthly payments, but instead of those payments going to your utility company, they will be paying off your solar system. The best part is that those payments will never increase and eventually they will be paid off. When that happens you will have complete ownership of your energy. Get a free solar analysis today to start on your journey to energy ownership today!

What You Should Know Before Going Solar

What You Should Know Before Going Solar

1. Solar is more affordable than ever

There has been so much research done in the field of solar energy that they have found ways to make solar panels more efficiently and with lower costs. This means that prices for buying solar panels are at their lowest right now. As the prices have lowered, there has been a greater demand for solar from businesses and home owners. Going solar is no longer a luxury of the wealthy, but something that anyone can afford.  

2. The Federal Tax Credit

To support the production of clean energy, the U.S. government is currently offering a Solar Investment Federal Tax Credit for those business owners and homeowners that go solar. You can save up to 30% off your solar panels by receiving this tax credit. Unfortunately, this tax credit won’t last forever as it is set to be cut in the next 5 years. Take advantage of this great opportunity while it is still available.

3. There are great financial options

As interest in solar has increased, more options for paying to go solar have opened up. Banks will offer loans that are similar to home-equity loans for you to go solar. The best part is that we offer a loan plan that is $0 down and you have 18 months before you have to start paying back your loan. This way you can start to see your savings come in from your solar panels before paying it back. Some banks in Missouri also don’t require a credit score to qualify for a loan. There are so many great financial options here in Arkansas and Missouri that solar is available to anyone. Which means, everyone can experience great savings, even in the first month of going solar. You can get a free solar analysis to learn what financial options are available to you! Savings

4. You can stay connected

Many people worry that if they go solar, they will be out of power during a cloudy week because their panels won’t produce enough energy. This is not a problem that you will face with solar. You can stay connected to the power grid so if your panels ever don’t produce enough energy, then you will receive energy from your power company. This also works in reverse, if your panels are producing more energy than you need, then it will be sent back into the grid and used by someone else. This will earn you credit from your utility company, which will offset any costs you may have incurred from the power company. We also won’t be leaving you anytime soon. Shine Solar offers production guarantees for up to 25 years. That means we are here for you if anything ever goes wrong with your panels or if you ever have any questions after your installation.    

5. Educate yourself

Solar is still a pretty new concept, especially in Arkansas and Missouri, so be sure to learn as much as you can about solar. This is a big investment and one that you should understand before buying. Education is a huge focus at Shine Solar, check out our blog and other website pages to learn more about going solar. We try to compile as much information as we can for you, so you can be prepared for this decision.   Solar Analysis Read as much as you can and ask all of your questions, so you can be armed with the knowledge you need. Receive a free solar analysis, where we will tell you whether solar will work for your home or not. Keep learning, solar is an incredible investment, but one that you want to be sure of. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have, we are here to help.        

Solar Financing: A Day in the Life

It’s one thing to know you want a solar analysis, but quite another to understand the inner workings of the process. From signing papers, to financing, to more paperwork, to installation, there are many steps along the way that may seem confusing. For that reason, we here at Shine thought we should offer a new blog series, A Day in the Life. Financing is our second segment in the series, following last week’s Part One, The Energy Consultant.

Financing 101

This week, Skylar Mann, Shine’s HR and Finance Manager, takes the spotlight. Skylar wears many hats at Shine, because she’s just that good! In her spare time, she trains in MMA, so she knows discipline. As our finance manager, Skylar goes through each deal as it hits finance verification. Verification is the fourth stage in the process, following the scheduled appointment, site survey, and design review.

Financing Documentation

There are several financing options for our customers. Skylar first makes sure that the energy consultant sent her the correct loan documents. If it is a cash customer, Skylar requires an install agreement and payment plan.

Financing Fine-Toothing

After Skylar confirms the correct loan documents, she checks certain items for accuracy. She makes sure, for example, that the system size is correct, and that the paperwork includes the requested attachments.

Financing Finalization

Once Skylar approves the paperwork order, she confirms that the financing is covered on the lending side. Each lender is different, so Skylar stays informed of each step in the customer’s install. This way, she can sent that lender’s paperwork at the correct stage.
After Skylar sends the requested paperwork and it is approved, the job is funded! From that point, the customer moves on to the best stage of all…interconnection!
Who will be next in our Day in the Life? Join us next week!
  Check out our Financing Day in the Life video summary!

Solar Financing 101


Solar Financing 101

In our blog post today we are going to be talking about the one thing that is on everybody’s mind: money. Going solar is a great investment that helps the environment, adds value to your home, and saves you money. The benefits are huge, but people often wonder how they will be able to afford this big investment. There are a lot of misconceptions about current solar financing, based on how financing used to be, so let’s look at the differences between the past and now. Solar Financing

Your Solar Financing Options

When you receive a free solar analysis from Shine Solar, we will tell you your financing options and what plan looks best for you. We understand this is big investment and want you to feel as secure in your decision as possible. When we run the numbers to get your solar analysis, we will be transparent and will tell you if solar is the best option for you or not. If solar is right for you, then we will tell you what you can expect your monthly payments to be and how much you will be saving. You can learn more about affording solar here.

How you can see your savings in a month

Sun SavingsSo let’s say that your current electrical bill is $180 a month. You purchase a 5KW system this year and that costs $18,000. The 30% Federal Tax Credit will take off $5400 of that cost and you won’t have to pay any of the money back for the first year. After you have installed your solar panels, your electrical bill goes down to $80 per month. Then you start your solar payments which is another $80 per month. This means that you will already be saving $20 per month in the first year! This is a hypothetical case and each home is different, but this is a common situation for many of our customers. You really can start saving money the first month you go solar!   Some may be concerned about their solar payments each month, but the fact is, you’re already paying the bill. The benefit to solar energy is that, your monthly payment will never increase and will eventually go away. The same cannot be said for utility bills, which can increase annually with no assurance as to what the rate of increase will be. Also, your will never pay off your utility bill. There is no end in sight with your electric bills. Whereas with solar, your monthly solar payment will never change or increase. Your solar payment also will eventually end, allowing you to fully enjoy your savings.

Playing the Long Game

Going solar isn’t a trendy fad that will be gone in a few years. Solar energy is a great way to create clean energy and to save money. Going solar is a lifetime investment. We understand that. And we are prepared to be with you the entire time. Here at Shine Solar, we are playing the long game. We realize that things can go wrong and we are going to be here to help fix any problems you may have with your solar panels. We will do everything we can to make your investment in solar more than worthwhile.
Long Term Approach

We don't just want your business today, we want your happiness for life! Call 844-80-SHINE to schedule your free solar analysis!

Posted by Shine Solar on Monday, June 12, 2017