EPISODE 40 ~ MAKE MORE: Solar Panels Can MAKE You Money Even If You Live in an Apartment!

Kiran Bhatraju of Arcadia Power is staying on and we’re transitioning from how Arcadia can help you save money to how Arcadia can help you make money.  Thanks for sticking around, Kiran!

My husband and I are actually researching installing solar panels on our roof right now.  Should we do it?  Will it not only save but make us money?

•  When you install a solar panel on your roof, you get money back in the form of tax credits and you save by not having to pay to power 100% of your home with more expensive traditional power.

• D.C. is the best place in the country to install solar panels, if you have the ability to do so!

•  And yes, you can make money. The upfront investment that you make in the panels will end up paying for itself, and then some, in time in the form of these savings.

• How quickly the panels pay for themselves depends on how much power the panel(s) generate each month.

  If we install solar panels, once they’ve paid for themselves, what’s the average amount of money we could make per year per panel?

• This number varies largely state by state. In D.C., prices for installing solar are actually significantly lower than the rest of the country. In 20-years you could be making upwards of 20 thousand dollars in savings with a small 3 kW system

• I recommend checking out EnergySage.com. It’s an excellent tool for evaluating your estimated upfront costs and expected return on investment. 

What if you live in an apartment and don’t own your own roof, so you can’t install solar panels on it?  What’s your solution for people in that situation?

• Great question. The vast majority of Americans can’t do rooftop solar. There’s only about 8% of Americans that can.  

• For the other 92% of Americans who want to tap into solar, we offer a nationwide community solar program on our platform.

• With community solar, anyone can ‘purchase’ a solar panel that is then hosted somewhere else.

• Your investment in one of our panels works the same way that it would if it were in your own home — you get money back every month depending on how much power the panel you purchased generates.

How much does it cost to buy a community solar panel through Arcadia?

• Our community solar panels cost around $100 each, depending on the project.

I know Arcadia describes it as “saving” money, because the less expensive solar power offsets the member’s more expensive traditional power.  But, really, aren’t your members MAKING money off of solar?

• Yes, technically they are!

• It feels like savings after you make an initial investment in community, because we credit your power bill each month with a certain amount of money that correlates with how your panels performed.

• This is money that you are making off of your solar panels, and we are simply crediting it towards your monthly power bill.

And how do they get this money they are making from solar?  Do you send them a check?  Credit their power bill?

• We credit your monthly Arcadia Power statement (i.e. your power bill).

OK, the question everybody’s been waiting for: how much can people make per month by investing in community solar?

• With community solar, it’s roughly an annual return of 3% percent. This is higher than the return that you would see if you invested your money in a savings or checking account, and you can feel good about investing in renewable energy making it onto the U.S. power grid. 

Kiran Bhatraju, CEO of Arcadia Power, thank you so much for joining me on Easy Money.  Folks, if you’re intrigued, I will link you to a list of the states that have deregulated power AND I will link you to Arcadia Power’s own website where you can learn more.

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