Here Are 3 Bright Reasons You Should Buy a Solar Panel Kit in 2014

Solar panel kits are more popular than ever. Here are three reasons a cheap solar panel kit is right for you.

Jan 6, 2014 at 9:50AM

Solarcity Solar Panel Kit


Kermit the Frog was wrong. Not only is it easier than ever to be green, it's also more affordable and more popular than ever. Here are three reasons you should buy a solar panel kit in 2014.

1. It's easy
Keep the ladder in the garage -- putting a solar panel kit on your roof is easier than ever. From permitting through installation, solar panel providers have got the process down pat. SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) describes five simple steps to snagging some solar.

Solar Panel Kit Steps Spwr

Source: SunPower Corporation 

SunPower Corporation has installed over 100,000 residential systems since 1985, and wants to make sure a solar panel kit is the right step for everyone. From the first free home solar evaluation to continual monitoring and maintenance, SunPower and its local dealers will be by your side.

Founded in 2006, SolarCity Corporation (NASDAQ:SCTY) offers something SunPower doesn't. SolarCity Corporation is the only company that keeps every step of solar panel kit installation in-house. While that limits its geographic stretch to 14 states with 31 operation centers, its customers always know who to call. And with clients ranging from individual homeowners to Walmart and Stanford University, SolarCity Corporation seems to know the ropes.

2. It's cheap
While solar panels are making technological improvements, one of solar's greatest advancements is purely financial.

The advent of third-party solar leasing companies has put solar panel kits on the best roofs around -- without costing occupants a penny. Solar panel costs are dropping rapidly, allowing companies like SunPower Corporation and SolarCity Corporation to carry the burden of upfront costs.

Both companies offer $0 down options, and monthly solar lease payments can still end up saving you money after accounting for your lower-than-ever electricity bill.

Solar Panel Kit Monthly Savings

Source: SolarCity Corporation

Plus, some savings today could mean even more tomorrow. Utility rates hikes have historically averaged 5% per year, but your solar panel cost is clocked in from day one.

Not only does SolarCity install your solar panel kit for free, it also has a money-back system performance guarantee and offers you upgrade or free removal opportunities at the end of the lease. SunPower Corporation gives you the option to buy your system outright after six years, and has guarantees similar to those of SolarCity.

3. It'll last
Solar panel kit providers are now standing by their products longer than ever before.

SunPower covers performance and product for 25 years, while SolarCity offers 10-year warranties on some parts (e.g. inverters) and 25 for others (e.g. solar panels). Regardless of warranties, SolarCity offers 20 years of monitoring and repair services.

These sorts of warranties are important, because they cut out most risk of surprises down the line. While SunPower brags that its solar panels have consistently delivered 105% of their expected energy production and SolarCity notes that some of the earliest solar panel kits installed 30 years ago are "still going strong," there's nothing like a guaranteed warranty for peace of mind.

Solar: A Smart Investment
SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive expects his company to install one million solar panel kits over the next five years . With solar power easier, cheaper, and more consistent than ever before, it's a reasonable goal.

If you're interested in solar, then you already understand investing fundamentals: invest today to pull profits tomorrow. In our brand-new special report, "Your Essential Guide to Start Investing Today," The Motley Fool's personal finance experts show you what you need to get started, and even gives you access to some stocks to buy first. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.

Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends SolarCity. The Motley Fool owns shares of SolarCity. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers