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Affordable Solar is Real in Virginia But This “Special Program” Isn’t

Aaron Sutch from Solar United Neighbors wrote an excellent piece of advice that we are re-posting on our website:

Perhaps you’ve seen the following advertisements in your social media or google searches:
“Affordable Solar Program Launched in Virginia for Middle-Class Homeowners”
The advertisement and others offering similar programs can be misleading. There are no special government or state programs to incentivize middle-class solar installations in VA. If there were such programs, your local installers would be well aware of them.
Here are a few things to look out for – consider these red flags:
  • The appearance that the ad is an article from an independent publication
  • The overestimation of up-front solar costs
  • Clever language that disguises a loan product for solar installations or other home improvements (i.e roof replacements) as a special program sponsored by a government or locality.
  • The indication that program ‘funding’ is still available in “your area”
  • Request for you to fill out a form with your average electric bill address to see if you “qualify”
These ads are often a hook or way for private companies to generate leads. The information provided is used to follow up with a sales pitch to sell their product which often involves a loan product– that may or may not have an upfront cost. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is, so beware.
Solar is more affordable than ever. Panel prices and market dynamics have brought costs down and consumers win. The savings are real and the value is excellent, but make sure you know the terms of the offer you’re considering. Will a solar lease make selling your home harder or more expensive? Will a community solar subscription truly let you share in the economic benefit of solar? Before you give up on owning solar, give it a fair look.
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