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Get solar panels, installation, and maintenance on us with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

What is a Power Purchase Agreement?

A solar Power Purchase Agreement (commonly abbreviated to PPA) is one of the most common ways for homeowners to go solar because it allows you to eliminate the upfront cost of purchasing the actual solar panel system. With a PPA, you simply pay one monthly rate based on the clean electricity produced by your solar panels. Another big benefit to PPAs is that this rate is often lower than what the local utility charges for electricity over the course of the year.

No upfront cost and potential long term savings

PPAs make it easy for you to come home to clean energy

PPAs make solar a possibility for more homeowners

For many, the upfront cost of a solar energy system is the only thing standing between them and the benefits of clean energy. If that’s you, then a PPA might be exactly what you’re looking for.

With any solar PPA, we install solar panels on your home and sell you the solar power it produces. You get clean energy to power your home and, by using power produced right on your rooftop (rather than power produced elsewhere and transported to your home through the utility grid), we can usually offer that power at a lower rate than what your utility can typically provide. You will still be connected to the local grid so you have power when sunlight isn’t reaching your panels (e.g. at night) but you’re no longer entirely dependent on that power. Simply put, you still pay for your power monthly but only a portion is coming from the grid and the rest is clean power at a predictable rate.

Additional benefits of PPAs

Another huge perk of PPAs is that they allow you to get the benefits of solar incentives and tax credits but without having to do the work required to claim them. We also provide maintenance and service on all PPA systems so you get peace of mind over the full term of the contract.

We want to make it as simple as possible so our solar experts are constantly working with local utilities and staying up-to-date on federal and local incentives to ensure we’re able to offer PPA plans in as many places as possible and for as many people as possible. Below you’ll find a simple explanation of the various ways PPAs are configured—each is configured to benefit homeowners in accordance with local regulations, requirements, and incentives.

Curious how a PPA could benefit you?

Generation-based PPAs: only pay for the power you produce.

If your PPA is based on variable monthly production then you pay a predetermined rate for every kilowatt-hour of electricity your solar panels generate. This means that, during sunnier months, your bill from us will be slightly higher than it is during months with less sunshine. That might sound backward, but those sunny months can actually be when you’ll be seeing the most savings because you’re getting more of your power from the solar panels on your roof and less from the local grid.

Enjoy Sunny days even more.

Your system will generate clean energy throughout the year. During months. usually the summer, it produces more.

Infographic Solar PPA

With a PPA based on production and seasonality, your monthly invoice is based on the clean energy your system produces each month, not on your overall energy use. We’ll send you an email each month detailing the previous month’s production and the Vivint Solar app gives you convenient access to that production and billing data any time you want it.

So, while you may be using the same amount of electricity from month to month, your panels will most likely be producing more energy in the summer and less in the winter. This means that your monthly invoice will most likely go up in the spring and summer months when your solar panels are producing more energy and decrease in the fall and winter when solar panel production typically slows down. It isn’t a bad thing to be producing more clean energy, even if it results in a slightly higher invoice. And, depending on your utility, Net Energy Metering (NEM) might be available, meaning that any extra energy that your system produces may be sent to your local grid, potentially earning you credits on your utility bill that you can redeem later in the year when the system isn’t producing as much.

And, as is the case with all our PPAs, we take care of the solar energy system design, permitting, paperwork, and provide a 20-year or 25-year power warranty.

An example of how a variable rate PPA can affect your utility bill

Say you live in sunny California, and your system produces an average of 1,300 kWh in July, and your current PPA rate is 25 cents per kilowatt-hour.

July: 1,300 kWh x 0.25 per kWh = $325

In December, when there’s less daylight, you produced 600 kWh. It’s also a time when rates go down, so you’re only charged $.18 per kWh

December: 600 kWh x 0.18 per kWh = $108

infographic2

This will be your baseline before other taxes and fees, not including any credits you send back to your utility (those will show up on your local utility bill). It’s also important to note that your July data will show up in your August statement and your December data will show up in your January statement.

Keep in mind, there are many factors that can affect your production like snow covering your panels, shady areas, and angle of the sun, but the biggest reason your production changes is because of daylight hours. solar bills

Level-pay PPAs: predictable monthly payments and guaranteed performance.

If your PPA is based on level monthly production then you pay a level price for every kilowatt-hour of electricity your solar panels generate each month. Here’s how it works:

We’ll assess your utility bills and use them to generate a figure that accounts for your total yearly energy consumption. Then we’ll take that figure and use it to assess exactly how much solar energy your household will potentially generate within a given year. We’ll then design your solar energy system to generate as close to that number as possible. Once done, we’ll take the yearly amount, divide that by twelve, and that’s what you’ll see on your monthly bill. A yearly 2.9%* escalator is added to account for asset depreciation but your bill won’t increase or decrease based on the sunnier or cloudier months so you enjoy the peace of mind that comes with predictability.

The level-pay PPA comes with a performance guarantee so you’re assured that you won’t be billed more than the system actually produces (below 90%). This is called a “True-up” and occurs every 24 months. And, of course, we take care of the solar energy system design, permitting, paperwork, and provide a 20/25-year power warranty. So there’s an extra dose of peace of mind too.

*The yearly escalator is 2.5% in the state of Nevada

An example of how a level rate PPA can affect your utility bill

Sticking with the same example above, say you live in sunny California, and your system produces an average of 150 kWh in July. That doesn’t matter. That’s because we’ve already determined how much you’re going to pay each month based on a levelized calculation of your total annual consumption.

So, let’s say that figure is 10,000 kilowatt hours a year, and your current PPA rate is 25 cents per kilowatt-hour.

10,000 kWh x 0.25 per kWh = $2,500

$2,500 ÷ 12 = $208.33

This will be your baseline before other taxes and fees, not including any credits you send back to your utility (those will show up on your local utility bill). Just like the variable rate PPA, your data for the previous month will show up in the following month’s statement. And just like the variable rate PPA, there are many factors that can affect your production like snow covering your panels, shady areas, and angle of the sun. We’ll still charge you a level rate, but you may also see a dip in your production, which can impact your credits to the utility company.

Fixed-pay PPAs: a fixed rate, plain and simple.

With a fixed-pay PPA your monthly bill is based on a fixed price for every kilowatt-hour of electricity your solar panels generate, period. Just like the level-pay PPA option listed above, we’ll simply estimate your total yearly production and divide it by twelve months. The only difference is that you won’t see the yearly 2.9% escalator that we add to account for asset depreciation. Your payment won’t change from month-to-month or year-to-year. The fixed-pay PPA also includes the 24-month “True-up” assuring you that you won’t be billed more than the system actually produces (below 90%). And again, we’ll still take care of the solar energy system design, permitting, paperwork, and provide a 20-year power warranty. No increasing or decreasing bills based on sunshine hours.

For an example of how a fixed rate PPA can affect your utility bill, see the explanation for the levelized PPA above.

Net-savings-with-solar

What to expect with a solar PPA bill

Below is a sample of a generation-based PPA bill, which was the first of the three configurations we explained above. (And regardless of the plan you’re on, we provide automatic, paperless billing so you never miss a payment and we save some paper and help the environment that much more). Remember, your bill might look a little bit different and PPA specifics will vary based on where you live. Luckily, solar bills are a bit more straightforward than your utility bills. Solar companies do not have access to all of the data your utility company owns in regards to your usage, so most of the information you will receive from your solar company is in regards to the panel production and how much solar energy you are producing.

Your bill may be as simple as this:

vivintsolarbill

Next up, the utility bill. If you’re thinking, “Wait, I have TWO bills now?” stay with us. It may be a little confusing at first to have two bills, but don’t let it fool you. Your solar panels are still producing clean energy—you might just need to do a little math to figure out how much you may potentially be saving. There are essentially two or three pieces to most energy bills:

1. Service charge and fees. This is usually a flat rate charged to all utility customers regardless of how much electricity is used. It’s the fee you pay for being connected to the grid. It may appear on your bill as one charge or multiple fees, but it won’t change when your solar panels are active.

2. Taxes. Pretty self-explanatory—these are usually calculated based on grid-electricity use, so the more you rely on electricity from your solar panels, the less you’ll pay in taxes. Hooray! It’s important to note that some taxes will be separated out as a line item that you can clearly see, and some utilities include the tax in their rates.

3. Energy use. Here’s the part to really get excited about. Your electrical provider charges you a volumetric rate for the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) you use. Your utility bill will only show the number of kWhs you used from the grid, but it doesn’t measure how much electricity you use from your solar panels. In other words, if you were to use only power from your solar panels, this amount would be zero.

Where can I see my solar bill online?

You’ll be able to view your Vivint Solar invoices anytime in the Account Center by clicking 'Log In' at the top of any page on our website. You can also view your panel’s production in the Vivint Solar App, available on Apple or Android devices.

Compare our other solar plans

*Warranty refers to solar panels. Refer to your customer agreement for all warranty terms and conditions. Plan availability varies by area and utility.

Meet other homeowners that are already powering their home, their way

“I'm here to tell you that we have Vivint Solar. It was an excellent crew that came out and installed the panels on our roof. And we've had it for about a year now and have really enjoyed having solar panels, and I would say that the savings has been wonderful.“
Connie H.
Arizona
Watch Connie's Story
“I am a customer of Vivint Solar. We had it put in about a year ago, and Paul Zaugg was our contact. He was so professional. He gave us every bit of information, and we have saved a ton of money with the solar. So we highly recommend it to anyone—and we're so grateful to be customers.”
Jill H.
Arizona
Watch Jill's Story
“I love the way my panels look. I especially like when I’m coming home, and I can look up and see the panels, and know that’s my house I’m driving to. I’m sure it’s going to definitely be one of the highest selling points, if ever we do decide to sell our home.”
LaVerne P.
New Jersey
Watch Laverne's Story

Contact us to see if a PPA payment plan is right for you

To get a free quote, call 877.404.4129 or fill out the form below.

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Copyright © 2020 Vivint Solar Developer, LLC. All rights reserved. Vivint Solar Developer, LLC (EIN: 80‐0756438) is a licensed contractor in each state in which we operate. For information about our contractor licenses, please visit vivintsolar.com/licenses.