In San Diego, the average price for a solar photovoltaic (PV) installation is about $10,000.  But with a solar lease, it’s possible to receive a brand-new system for $0.  In other words, you pay absolutely nothing for the parts and labor.

But is it possible to lower your solar panel installation cost even further?  After all, what’s better than free?

Actually, it is possible.  But probably not in the way that you think.

Let’s review.

Can Your Solar Panel Installation Cost Go below $0?

It’s important that you understand the difference between solar costs, solar savings, and solar payback periods:

  • Solar cost is what you pay upfront.  When you own the system outright, the average price is $10,000.  When you lease the system, the average cost is $0.
  • Solar savings = money that you no longer have to send to the utility company.  Whether you own your PV system or lease it, you enjoy instant electricity bill savings – starting on Day 1.
  • Solar payback period is the length of time required for your monthly savings to cover the upfront cost of your installation.  When you own the system, the average payback period is about 4 to 6 years.  But when you lease your system, there is no payback period.  For the next 15 to 20 years, you’ll have to make monthly payments to the lessor of your solar leasing contract.

This last point is very important.

It is impossible to ever enjoy free electricity when you lease (i.e. rent) your solar panels.  You might not spend any money upfront, but you’ll spend way more than $10,000 over the next 15 to 20 years.

This is why buying a system is vastly superior to leasing one.  When you buy a solar PV system, you’ll enjoy free electricity for decades and decades.  To better understand the disadvantages of solar leasing, check out these 2 articles:

But even still, $10,000 is a lot of money.  Is it possible to get this price down even more?

Yes it is.

1.  Make Your Property More Energy Efficient

The simplest way to lower solar panel installation costs is to make your home or business more energy efficient.  The less electricity you use, the fewer panels you’ll need.  And the fewer panels you need, the less money you’ll have to spend upfront.

For some affordable energy efficiency tips, click here.

2.  Take Advantage of All San Diego Solar Incentives

Another way to drive down costs even more is to apply for all local, state, and federal solar incentives – many of which can be combined together for even higher savings.

  • Some incentives are automatic (meaning you don’t have to do anything to enroll).
  • Others require an application form (at Sunline Energy, we take care of all this paperwork for you).

But don’t underestimate the power of these incentives.  The 30% federal tax credit alone can save you tons of money in solar installation costs.  And this is just one of many incentives available in San Diego.

3.  Take out a Solar Loan

You can further drive down solar panel installation costs by taking out a solar loan.  You’ll still end up spending $10,000 (plus interest), but you can spread this cost over a few years.  With a well-structured loan, it’s possible to pay $0 upfront.

Again, at Sunline Energy, we help you apply for low-interest loans from reputable lenders in the San Diego area.

Ready to reduce your carbon footprint, save money, and enjoy decades of free electricity (even as utility rates continue to skyrocket)?