Georgia residents interested in saving money on their power bills have a new reason to cheer. Governor Nathan Deal has recently signed “The Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act of 2015,” which allows third-party ownership of solar panels, which allows solar companies to offer leases or Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), along with other financing options.
That’s a fancy way of saying “Georgians can now get solar panels for no money down!”
Basically, here’s what you need to know:
- The bill allows homeowners to sign a lease or (PPA) from third-party solar companies like SolarCity.
- Leases and PPAs often begin with little or no money down, and can save homeowners money every month, because the payments are cheaper than retail energy from the utility.
- The financial benefits of a lease or aren’t as great as with a system purchase, but the homeowner isn’t responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the system.
- Third-party solar agreements do not make homeowners eligible for rebates and tax credits, but rebates do exist for some utility customers in Georgia.
Let’s take a look at the financials of solar in Georgia:
As you can see, you’ll have to lay out an awful lot of cash up front if you plan to buy, but you save a whole lot more over the 25-year life of a system. With a lease, your savings start from day 1. Small at first, but growing over time as the rate of increase of electricity prices outpaces your lease payments. That’s a pretty sweet deal, and it might make you want to see if you can get $0-down solar in Georgia.
Before this legislation passed, Georgia was in a bad way with solar. With a payback timeframe of 13 years, a vanishing state tax credit, and Georgia Power, the largest utility in the state, offering no rebates, there was little hope for homeowners who wanted solar panels. It’s no wonder the state got an “F” in our 2015 U.S. ranking report.
These days, with solar equipment costs dropping to all-time lows and the new law that provides for third-party ownership, solar lovers in Georgia can look forward to lease and PPA options that will get panels on their roofs fast, with no money down. The best way to get started is to sign up for free quotes from our installer partners in Georgia, and get ready to pick a winner!
Last modified: August 30, 2019