EarthKind Energy aims to empower you to identify and secure the clean energy solutions that best meet your unique needs & goals. We want you to join the growing community of clean energy consumers who are saving money and creating a more sustainable society for our kids and future generations.
We are NOT solar installers. We are expert, trusted advisers who guide our customers through the complex decisions of a clean energy purchase. If you have the time, energy, financial and technical ability – you may not need us.
However, if you have concerns about a complicated clean energy purchase where you need some advice and the assurance that comes from consulting with independent experts who aren’t trying to sell you a particular product – we’re here for you.
The first steps toward saving money with solar are to:
Be a Good Consumer and solicit 3 Competitive Bids. We recommend you secure bids from a local installer, a regional one, and a national company. Many will aim to have you sign at the time of their presentation – Be strong! Wait until you have evaluated your options and decide which really works best for you. Be comfortable with the technology and commitments being offered by each potential provider, including where the equipment parts are made, the manufacturer’s financial strength and ability to stand behind their warranties, and the installation labor team. Ask for – and check – references. And ALWAYS consult your financial adviser to make sure that you are able to take proper advantage of whichever option you ultimately choose.
Ask each bidder for their financing offers. Specifically, ask them for the following options (not every provider will offer all four):
Purchase the system – IF you have the cash, and can use the Federal and State Tax Credits, this option almost always provides the best long-term savings, as once you pay for the system, the savings are all yours. Make sure you understand the warranty, and are comfortable with whomever is providing the material & labor guarantees. Double check that all the equipment (including the inverter) are guaranteed for the same amount of time.
Loan – where you borrow the money and pay a fixed monthly amount over the term, but can still use the Tax Credits yourself. Over 20 years, this option usually provides the 2nd best total savings, since you also keep 100% of the savings after the system is paid off. Investigate the same warranty issues as the purchase option. Ask for the provider’s loan program – and also evaluate your own if you’re able to borrow the money directly with a low-interest home equity or other personal or secured loan from your bank.
Lease – where you pay a fixed monthly payment, but the Lender owns the system and takes the Tax Credits. If you can’t take full advantage of the tax credits, this option can provide better savings that the loan or purchase option, Make sure you understand what happens at the end of the lease, and the cost to buy the system when the lease term is finished.
Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) – where the Lender owns and maintains the system, and you pay an agreed rate per kilowatt hour (kwh) for the energy as it’s generated and delivered. In this case, pay special attention to the annual kwh escalator. While this option may have the least net cash savings over 20 years compared to a purchase, loan or lease – you don’t spend any money upfront; you gain price certainty compared to ever-changing and escalating utility rates; you never have to worry about maintenance; and you only pay when the system delivers clean energy..
3. IF you have done all the above – and still have questions or issues – OR if you just don’t have the time & expertise and want independent experts to help with some part of “do it all” for you – THEN fill out the EarthKind contact form.
We’ll arrange a convenient time for a conversation to discuss your goals, questions, and needs. Depending on how much work you’ve done, the complication of your issues, and your specific needs, we’ll either answer your questions on a complimentary phone call – or propose a fair value arrangement that will save you multiples of your investment – and give you peace of mind that you’ve made the choice that’s right for you, your circumstances, and your goals.
Don’t Wait too long!
* State Cash Grant Incentives are decreasing every year, and will be phased out completely.
* The 30% Federal Tax Credit will expire in a few years..
* “Net Metering” may be phased out too. Instead of your meter spinning backwards and providing you credit at the same retail rate – you will have to pay your local utility to maintain the wires and provide you with electricity at night & whenever your system isn’t generating enough to meet your needs. By signing up now – you will be “grand parented” into the current Net Metering system – and insure that you continue to secure the full value of your solar system for 20+ years.