By Chris Rogers, Solar Energy Program Intern
If you had solar panels installed on your roof over the last decade, you more than likely do not own your installation because you entered into a 3rd party contract with the vendor. Now however, due to the increased demand for solar power, lower prices, the simplicity of financing and solar-friendly state policies, more opportunities have opened up for local solar installers across the country. This means you can work with a local vendor, obtain local financing and buy your rooftop solar installation so that you own it outright when it’s paid off.
You can read the complete article about this solar news update, written by Andrew Beebe called “The Revenge of the Long Tail” at https://medium.com/obvious-ventures/the-revenge-of-the-long-tail-9f80fa93bf25#.6os7vuz9w
Andrew Beebe states that over the last decade, non-local national solar companies have helped bring solar within reach for millions of Americans with what is known as ‘the tax equity-based power purchase agreements’ (PPAs). These contracts allow third parties to own individual systems and sell energy generated by them. During the period from 2010-2014, we saw a market dominated by a few third-party ownership players, with no room for the thousands of small solar installers across the country.
Today, local vendors can offer simplified loans to home and business owners, giving them real ownership in their low-cost clean energy future. A loan is much less complex, but also does not require specific tax equity partners and therefore can easily be offered by a smaller scale solar installer. The County of Sonoma also offers financing for solar installations through their Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP). Going local makes sense and brings competition back to the local level for the national players.
Contact us today and we can answer any questions you have about converting your home or business to solar energy, solar financing or getting a referral to a trustworthy local vendor.
Geoffrey Smith, Your Clean Energy Advocate
Solar Sonoma County, a program of The Center for Climate Protection.