Reducing upfront cost of solar

Reduce cost

Image credit: Showa America

The upfront capital cost for a residential solar PV system in Barbados is currently in the $16,000-$40,000 price range which is reasonable now and will continue to become more affordable in the future. Until then, reducing the current upfront cost can be achieved by:

Purchasing a smaller system

If a system to offset all of your electricity consumption results in too large of a purchase, consider a smaller system that will offset say 50% of your consumption. You will still derive benefits without such a high upfront cost.

Negotiating for a more competitive price based on multiple quotes from installers

Consider obtaining at least 3 quotes from solar installation companies for the same system size and components. You will then be in a better bargaining position for them to beat a competitor’s price resulting in a lower upfront cost for you.

Taking a loan from a bank or credit union

Similar to large purchases such a car; a loan can be obtained from a bank or credit union to make the purchase of a solar PV system more manageable. This may take the form of a secured or unsecured loan, with or without a down payment. With a proper energy production and financial analysis, a homeowner or business owner can make an informed decision on how large of a system can be financed via a loan. Depending on the interest rate and amortization period, the electricity bill savings can cover the loan repayment amount.

The long term financial incentive is Barbados Light and Power’s Renewable Energy Rider program which pays a small premium for kWh generated from solar PV. This RER credit would then reduce or completely eliminate future electricity bills.