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How to Avoid Solar Energy Rip-offs

Where there’s money to be made, there’s con artists to be found.

These days, con artists have become adept at blending right in with everyone else. They’re hard to pick apart from the crowd.

And any industry with strong growth potential is sure to have them. That includes solar energy.

Solar hasn’t yet become the standard, but it’s certainly quickly gaining traction. The State of California just passed a law (to take effect in 2 years) that requires all new homes to have solar panels.

Will Texas follow eventually? Could this be latched onto by certain Texas cities, rather than the state as a whole?

Regardless of what happens, for now, don’t fall into these traps about solar energy:

1. Solar Power Only Saves You Money If Pay $100+ Monthly for Electricity

Of course, saving money will be a big sales angle. However, due to the current cost of solar panels, you need to be using at least $100 per month in electricity to eventually reap the savings.

Your contractor should be interested in learning how much energy you use now. If not, pass on that contractor and move on to one who does.

2. Compare Buying to Leasing

Utility companies recognize that $20,000 for solar panels isn’t affordable for everyone (how could they not?).

So if you have an interest in those, but don’t have the money (or don’t want the debt), leasing may be an option.

The solar panel company installs the panels on your roof. You pay them a monthly fee for the electricity.

You can get two types of leases:

  1. Pay a fixed monthly rate over an agreed-upon time period (usually 20 years)
  2. Pay a fixed price per kilowatt hour

3. Let the Federal Government Help You Out

Through December 31st, 2019, the federal government offers you a 30% tax credit for the purchase and installation costs for solar panels. Contractors should know all about this, as it’s another major selling point for them.

You can search for additional Texas state and local tax credits for solar panels, but they’re fairly scarce.

4. You Shouldn’t Feel Pressured by a Contractor

Some contractors will use high-pressure sales tactics to get you to act now – or soon. They’ll give you quotes that are only good until a certain deadline.

In sales, a little gentle pressure is okay. Sometimes this is used to help you make a decision that is truly in your best interest.

However, the most trustworthy contractors who also offer exceptional service let you make the final decision.

Solar energy is a wise decision, but it’s not easily affordable for everyone. And you shouldn’t feel pressured into a decision that isn’t a wise one for your unique situation.

For now, you understand how it works, and you might be able to make it work for you.

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