Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

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

By Justin Loiseau - Jan 6, 2014 at 8:50AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

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


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 (SPWR 3.62%) describes five simple steps to snagging some solar.

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 (SCTY.DL) 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.

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.

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.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

SunPower Corporation Stock Quote
SunPower Corporation
$26.62 (3.62%) $0.93
SolarCity Corporation Stock Quote
SolarCity Corporation
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Stock Quote
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
$132.22 (1.85%) $2.40

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/14/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.