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Zero risk, all reward?

We’ve already discussed how the company gives the illusion of taking all risk off the customer’s hands. But, how do they benefit?

The company charges the consumer in either the PPA or the lease model, and payments can range from 10 to 15 percent of the total system cost per year. In turn, they recover 50 percent or more of their investment from the customer over just five years.

Also, because the company owns the system, they get all of the tax credits and write-offs, and for every dollar invested by the company in a solar program, they get to claim a tax credit of 30 cents. In essence, the government gives the company a 30-percent rebate for putting the system on your roof. There may also be rebates and grants available by the local electricity distributor (ONCOR: up to $8500; Coserv: up to $2600; and Denton Electric: up to $15,000), which can add up to another 20 to 30 percent.

Lastly, they can depreciate the system over the next three to five years, receiving another 15 percent or more on their investment. In other words, the company receives:

  • 50 percent from the customer
  • 30 percent from the Federal government
  • 20 to 30 percent from local rebates
  • 15 percent in depreciation, at minimum
  • Total: 115 percent of the total investment

Essentially, in just the first three to five years, the company has gotten its money back and still owns the system on your roof. So, you may have the option to buy it from them or continue to pay them for another two decades.

The question left to answer is, “Should consumers stay away from solar energy altogether?”

The answer is no, not at all! Why? Stay tuned.