Why Choose a Loan Over Paying Cash?
We all have our comfort levels with the amount of upfront cash we like to have ready to spend on big purchases. “Cash is king” is a common expression, and it’s important to weigh your options before using hard-earned cash to pay for solar panels. Especially because time is of the essence and there are enabling solar financing options available for those with good credit. Solar is such a solid and necessary investment; you may have the opportunity to use “other people’s money” (OPM) to make the decision to go solar even simpler. This makes it possible to leverage today’s incentives and not delay another season. We never hear “I should have waited” from our client community.
Here in Washington State, we lead the nation by committing to a realistic goal of a zero-carbon emission electricity grid by 2035 and have no time to delay! Solar has many benefits, so the investment is a no-brainer for most roofs. Whether you as an individual are looking for a smart personal investment, a way to improve the environment, or want to claim energy independence to protect yourself against rising utility rates – solar is the answer and an important part of our energy future that we can take action on now.
Solterra has teamed up with local credit unions to provide visibility and access to solar installations for zero down and low monthly payments. Thanks to these programs, solar is cash-flow-positive within the life of the loan term, or for some, within a handful of years. Financing allows property owners to keep more cash liquid and available to invest and receive additional returns.
There are attributes of an ‘enabling’ solar loan to look out for:
- No prepayment penalty
- Ability to use loan to help with other energy efficiency projects such as heat pumps, insulation, and tree trimming (for improved solar production)
- Up to 25% of the loan can be used for non-energy efficiency upgrades, such as a new roof
- Low and fixed rates (PSCCU offers as low as 3.24%)
- Flexible Terms (PSCCU offers 10-to-20-year loans)
Solterra’s thorough consultation process provides a realistic expectation of the returns you’ll get from your system as well as what loan options make sense based on your solar goals. Most solar installations offset at least 40-50% of a home’s energy demand, with many of our clients reaching 80%-100%.
We like to frame it this way for our clients: You can take what was previously your electric bill payment and put that money towards your solar loan payment instead. You get to keep tens of thousands of dollars in your bank account, stock portfolio, certificate of deposit, etc., and offset the disadvantage of using OPM, aka “interest.” Our goal is to get every candidate for Solar in a situation where Solar costs as little as possible with the highest possible return for our clients.
If you have questions about your own financial plan for Solar, reach out at 800-865-9005 or [email protected] and we’d be happy to offer individual guidance. You can also head to our free estimate tool here to get started on your Solar journey.
Jessica Miller (she/her) is a PNW Native and professional sun appreciator working as a Solar Design Consultant. Her 12 year old dog Lucy is a regular at the office and makes sure Jessica plays as hard as she works. When not on a roof, she can be found in the garden or falling down research rabbit holes.
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