As a homebuyer during the new home construction process, you have a lot of decisions to make. You may consider upgrades as you move into your new place, including solar energy. Solar panels provide several advantages, many of which cater directly to homebuyers that have purchased a new construction home.
Solar Power is Simple
When it comes to buying a new build home, the best time to install solar power is during the construction phase. The reason is simple: installing a home solar system during the building process of your new home is easier and more cost-effective than having it retrofitted down the line. When you incorporate solar panels at this stage, you can account for them in your building design considerations, streamlining the construction process.
Solar Energy Reduces Electricity Bills
As a new homeowner, you already have so many expenses to consider. Reducing what you pay for electricity is one way to ease the financial pressure. By going solar, you may insulate yourself from future utility rate increases. In fact, the electricity cost savings generated by your solar system can begin the moment it is activated. When your main source of energy comes from your solar system, you can significantly reduce your reliance on the power grid and subsequently, the cost of your utility bills.
Solar Power is Affordable
If you can afford to pay your electricity bill every month, you can afford solar energy. There are solar financing options that can enable you to transition to renewable energy with little to no upfront costs.
The first way that new homebuyers can finance their solar system is through a solar lease. As a first time homebuyer you may be cash strapped. A solar lease can help you avoid the up-front costs by leasing equipment in exchange for a reduction in your energy bills. With a lease, financially conscientious homeowners can get access to clean energy at an affordable monthly cost that works with their budget.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to finance a new home solar system with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The key difference between a solar lease and a PPA is in the terms of the monthly agreement. Instead of making a monthly lease payment, PPA holders agree to purchase monthly power from the equipment owner at a preset rate. Like a solar lease, a PPA involves the installation of solar equipment that is owned by a third party and doesn’t require an up-front payment.
Solar Energy Pays You Back
When you finance your solar system using a loan or combining costs into your home‘s mortgage, you can take full advantage of any incentives available. The Inflation Reduction Act provides a federal solar tax credit that enables qualified homeowners to receive an income tax credit worth 30% of the cost of their solar system.1 This incentive will be available until 2032, which will help make the cost of solar energy more affordable. Also, some states offer tax credits, rebates and other local incentives, making solar power even more cost effective.
Your exact return on investment can be affected by which solar financing option you choose, cash purchase, loan or lease/PPA options all have financial benefits and variable timeframes for you to realize your solar energy savings. But given that you may be able to reduce your utility bill and potentially take advantage of the solar tax credit and/or local solar incentives,1 the return is likely to be in the tens of thousands over the life of your solar system.
Clean Energy is Good for the Environment
Many new home buyers look for environmentally friendly home elements in a new build that make the home more sustainable, helping homeowners live greener and save money.
Climate change is a pressing concern for many and solar power can help protect the planet. When homeowners choose solar energy, they are reducing their carbon footprint by helping eliminate the amount of harmful greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. SunPower customers can even see a quantifiable version of their environmental impact with the mySunPower app.
You may even consider pairing solar power with other clean energy solutions. For example, if you own an electric vehicle, you could charge the EV with solar power, relying completely on renewable resources.
Buying a new home is an exciting time and factoring in solar power can benefit you in the process. Solar power can be installed with little upfront cost leading to savings and environmental improvements.
1Incentives and tax credits subject to change. SunPower does not warrant, guarantee or otherwise advise its partners or customers about specific tax outcomes. Consult your tax advisor regarding the solar tax credit and how it applies to your specific circumstances. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information