Free Solar Panels: Unraveling the Truth Behind the Marketing Hype

August 22, 2023

Solar energy has gained significant traction over the years, with many homeowners considering the switch to harness the sun's power.

Amidst this growing interest, several solar companies have started advertising "free" solar panels, leading many to wonder if this is a genuine offer or just a marketing gimmick.

In this article, we'll delve into the reality behind these claims and help you make an informed decision.

1. The Allure of "Free" Solar Panels

The idea of getting something for free is always enticing. When it comes to solar panels, the term "free" often refers to solar lease agreements or power purchase agreements (PPA). Under these arrangements, solar companies install panels on your property at no upfront cost. However, there's a catch: you'll be charged a monthly fee for using their panels or for the electricity they produce.

2. The Reality Behind the "Free" Tag

- Government Programs: Contrary to some claims, the federal government does not offer programs for free home solar panel installations. While there are incentives like tax credits, these are designed to offset the cost, not provide panels for free.
- Solar Leases and PPAs: These are the most common "free" solar offers. While you might not pay upfront, you're essentially renting the panels. You'll be charged for the electricity they produce or a fixed monthly fee. At the end of the lease, you might have the option to purchase the panels, or they could be removed.

- Hidden Costs: While the initial cost might be zero, there are potential hidden costs. For instance, if you sign a solar lease, you might be ineligible for solar rebates, tax credits, or local incentives. Plus, any excess energy produced typically benefits the solar company, not you.

3. The True Cost of Solar

Solar panels are an investment. While the initial cost can be offset with various incentives and financing options, it's essential to understand the long-term implications. For instance, if you lease panels, you might save on your electricity bills, but you won't own the panels at the end of the term.

4. Making an Informed Decision

Before jumping on a "free" solar panel offer:

- Research: Understand the difference between owning and leasing solar panels.
- Read the Fine Print: Ensure you're aware of all costs, terms, and conditions.
- Consider Long-Term Implications: Think about potential savings, the benefits of ownership, and the flexibility to sell your home without lease complications.


While "free" solar panels might seem like an attractive offer, it's crucial to understand what you're signing up for. By doing thorough research and considering the long-term implications, you can make a decision that's right for you and your home.

How DIY Solar Helps

Though solar is never truly “free”, it can still be a great investment! Especially if you can get it at an affordable price.

That’s where DIY Solar comes in.

We cut out the solar sales bros and middlemen that make traditional solar so expensive.

On top of that, we even offer a DIY installation option to help you save even more money!

Start today by getting a solar quote with us.

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