Cost plays a major role when one is considering investing in solar power. It can affect the rate of return dramatically. Third party solar providers are in the business to make money off of the consumer. They have overhead costs which include marketing, installation, equipment, employees, etc. All of these costs are passed on to the consumer which drives the cost up for solar power. The cost for a solar array depends on the consumer’s electric needs. It is not uncommon for consumers to pay around $9,000 for smaller to average sized homes, while larger homes that consume more power could cost upwards in the $30k-to $40K range depending on the size. Keep in mind you are still on a net metered system. (You are still dependent on the grid.) A consumer who wants to be totally independent from the grid would need to purchase batteries, which usually doubles the cost of any solar array. The life of the battery usually lasts anywhere from 3 to 5 years, depending upon the manufacturer. Many consumers cannot afford to pay for their solar array upfront, which forces them to amortize the solar equipment over a longer period of time. Keep in mind, not only is the consumer paying for the equipment; they are paying interest on the equipment that is supposed to save them money.
As a non-profit company, Dixie Power provides solar to its members for a fraction of the cost of what third party solar providers charge. (And yes…Dixie Power uses the same power source as everyone else, also known as the Sun…without the markup!) Dixie Power builds, services, and maintains our members solar for them, thus reducing the cost and passes these savings on to its members. Dixie Power’s cost is $1.80/watt. Most third party solar providers are at least $3.25/watt and more. You don’t have to be a math genius to figure out that you can save big money going with Dixie Power for your solar power provider.
No Tax paperwork:
Solar energy is subsidized by the federal and state government. The Federal Tax Credit currently is 30% of the gross cost of the solar array. The State of Utah offers a one-time $2,000 credit towards residential solar arrays, regardless of size. Without these subsidies, solar would be even more expensive. In order to qualify for these subsidizes, the tax payer must first qualify for them, meaning they must make enough money to have a tax liability that will allow them to take advantage of using the subsidies. Otherwise, a buyer may have to amortize the tax credits over time. The way the tax credits are currently structured, lower income earners will find it hard to benefit from solar energy through third party providers. When members purchase solar energy from Dixie Power, there is no need for qualifying for tax credits, nor is there any need to fill out tax paperwork. Dixie Power has adopted a true no money down, pay as you go method. This allows all members to participate in the solar program, not just those who qualify for tax credits.No Installation:
Depending on the size of the solar array, installation could take one to two weeks to install on your roof top. Before installation can begin, a licensed engineer must approve the overall design plans and load that the roof will have to support. Installation of roof top solar arrays will vary due to size, layout, and design. If a buyer lives in a homeowner’s association, the buyer must obtain permission from their board BEFORE the equipment is installed. Members who buy solar from Dixie Power do not need approval from engineers or permission from board members of their home owners association. Why? The solar equipment is built and maintained at a solar farm located in our two locations of St George and Beryl. There is no equipment that is installed on the home. Should the member move to another home within the service territory of Dixie Power, the member can still participate in the solar program. If a consumer chooses to install roof top solar on his or her home, the solar equipment is affixed to the home and is not transferable unless otherwise negotiated in a purchase contract. If and only if a consumer was successful in negotiating a contract that allows them to transfer the solar equipment, the consumer would then have to reinstall the equipment on the new residence, possibly voiding any warranties or guarantees from the manufacturer or solar provider.
No Loan Qualification:
Even with federal and state tax credits, most people will have to apply and qualify for financing should they choose to invest in solar with a third party solar provider. Many third party solar providers offer a number of financing options that include “zero down” or “12 months interest free” loan programs. Be aware that some of these programs are short term loans that in time, if the loans are not refinanced, the consumer will be charged high rates of interest, ultimately costing more money over the life of the loan. Most loans will require collateral such as a home or other property, in order to insure that you pay the loan in full. Keep in mind; you are paying interest on a depreciating asset. Eventually, the solar equipment will need to be replaced and paid for again and again.
Dixie Power does not require its members to apply and qualify for any loans should they want to participate in solar power. Dixie Power has a “no upfront fee” and offers “pay as you go” plan for all who choose to participate, regardless of income.
Southern Utah is known for its sunny weather. With over 330 days of sunshine a year, solar seems like the perfect fit. However, wind, rain, and dust will contribute to getting solar panels dirty, which will cause them to produce at a less than optimal level. Maintaining and cleaning your solar panels is necessary should you choose to invest in roof top solar. However, with Dixie Power solar, members are never required to clean and maintain their solar array. Off-site solar panels are maintained and cleaned regularly at no additional cost to the members, saving them time and money, all while maximizing efficiency.