One of the biggest reasons that some people refuse to adopt solar power is that they believe that they can’t afford the necessary equipment. A single physical panel can cost several hundred dollars and installation of an entire solar energy system can cost thousands. That said, home and business owners shouldn’t let cost deter them. Many free solar panel options exist that can help reduce the upfront costs. The total year-to-year energy savings then eventually offset the remaining initial investment.
Where can you find free solar panels?
The best place to start looking is on websites that offer free online advertising to users. Check out newspaper pages that display classified ads and websites that offer only classified ads. You might also find free solar panels or even other types of solar power system components in social media yard sale, free item and trade groups or on websites devoted to recycling and upcycling where users post ads to give away items. Don’t forget to submit your own “wanted” posts on these sites to advertise that you’re looking for panels. Always tag the posts with hashtag descriptions like #wantedsolarpanels, #solarpanels and #free so that your posts appear in public social media and search engine keyword searches.
If you have an electrical work, solar panel or even circuit board repair background or know someone who offers related services for free or at a low cost, you should also look for defective solar panels marked for disposal. You might need to pay for repairs, but you can still cut overall solar energy system costs. Check with panel manufacturers, retailers and installers and construction contractors. Keep in mind that you’re less likely to find free defective panels this way, but it’s not impossible. In some cases, you might need to sign a waiver that confirms that you understand that the panels are damaged and come with zero warranty coverage.
Home and business owners can sometimes receive free panels and installation or money to pay for part or all of a solar power system through government and non-profit assistance programs. For example, you might be able to procure a grant to cover the costs. Some programs offer incentives to convince homeowners to switch to solar. In those cases, you must pay for the panels yourself, but then you receive a tax break or refund. It’s important to note that the majority of incentive programs typically only cover up to 50 percent of the cost.
If you can’t find free panels, you might still find plenty of panels in good-to-excellent condition offered at lower-than-average prices through alternative sources. For example, some people find affordable solar system components like panels during home and business property auctions at auction houses. You might also find them at going-out-of-business sales on-site in retail and commercial districts.
Of course, if you can’t find free or low-cost solar panels, you shouldn’t give up on solar power. A solar energy system is still worth the investment. Beyond cash back incentive programs, many owners recoup their initial investment by selling electricity back to local electric producers and other utility companies for credits toward their bills.