About National Solar Program
National Solar Program can help you get approved for solar, which could reduce your electric bill by up to 65%, increase the value of your home, protect against rising energy costs, and provide clean, reliable energy for years to come.
This is why National Solar Program claims to be “bringing affordable energy to America.”
In order to get approved for solar, the National Solar Program works over 3 easy steps:
- Enter your street address and zip code on the NSP home page.
- Indicate if you own your home, your current electrical provider, and your monthly electrical bill.
- Provide your contact information, including first and last name, email address, and home phone.
If you’re thinking about going solar, you’re part of a hugely popular trend. But because it’s so new, you might be confused about where to begin.
Is National Solar Program a good starting point, or will you just be bombarded with sales calls and spam? And if this isn’t the case, is going solar even right for you?
We’re here to provide answers to all your important questions, so let’s start with the basics of solar energy.
What Is Solar Energy?
Did you know that the sun provides the world with 5,000 times more energy per day than we need? It’s true!
But the problem is this: How do we efficiently harness the sun’s energy, and then transform it into usable electricity? Enter solar panels.
These devices are basically just a collection of solar (or photovoltaic) cells that allow “photons, or particles of light, to knock electrons free from atoms, generating a flow of electricity.”
Residential solar panel installation has become increasingly popular over the last few years (growing more than 100% per year) as people are more environmentally conscious, the improved efficiency of solar panel technology, in addition to the rising costs of utility bills.
But are solar panels a good value?
Can Solar Energy Save You Money?
Here’s the thing: Sure, solar panels almost certainly can save you money on your utility bills. But exactly how much depends on a wide variety of factors, including:
- The state you live in,
- Your electricity provider,
- Your average power consumption,
- Any rebates available to you at the time of purchase,
- The amount of sun your roof receives,
- … and much more.
But let’s use a best-case scenario as an example. Let’s say you live in Hawaii, and could potentially save about $64,000 on your utility costs over the course of 30 years by switching to solar.
Considering that the average cost of installing a 600 sq. ft. solar system is $52,500, this means you’d only be saving about $11,500 over 30 years. Or, about $32 per month!
With all of this in mind, let’s loop back around to National Solar Program.
What Does National Solar Program Provide for Their Customers?
In a nutshell, National Solar Program claims to help you get “approved” for a residential solar system. But they’re not exactly straightforward about what this means.
If you dig a little further though, you’ll quickly find that National Solar Program doesn’t actually approve you for anything. Instead, they collect your information and sell it to third-party solar installers, which is a process known as lead generation.
“We are a lead generation company and are in the business of selling personal information about our users and visitors to third parties, such as, without limitation, solar energy providers and energy efficiency consultants/auditors. When you request a solar consultation/quote or otherwise request that clean energy service providers contact you, we may sell, disclose or otherwise dispose of your personal information to solar energy providers, clean energy service providers or other third party service providers not affiliated with us in order to fulfill your request.
Accordingly, these third parties that purchase or receive your personal information from us may then (i) use your personal information for their own purposes (including for commercial purposes), (ii) contact you regarding their products and services, and/or (iii) disclose or dispose of your personal information to other third parties for their own commercial purposes.”
Ultimately, all of this means that not only will these installers purchase access to your information, they can then sell it to whomever they please. In short, we believe you’ll probably be bombarded with sales calls and spam emails shortly after submitting your information to National Solar Program.
What Do We Know About National Solar Program’s Installers?
Not a whole lot.
Yes, NSP does provide a list of installers who might contact you, but without investigating each and every one, there’s no way to know their quality, their customer reputation, their licensing information, or what makes them a “preferred” business partner.
You’re basically just throwing your information out there and hoping for the best, which might not be the best way to go about purchasing a very expensive solar panel system.
Does all of this mean that you shouldn’t use National Solar Program?
The Bottom Line
Similar to ProvideSolar, another lead generation website, there are a lot of unknowns about National Solar Program. And when it comes to your personal information (and your sanity, should you receive excessive sales calls or emails), sending it out into the unknown might not be the brightest idea.
In fact, as with ProvideSolar, after entering our information into the NSP website, we were redirected to a page that provided no additional information about what to expect.
But we don’t think sites like National Solar Program exist to provide you with any real-world benefits. We think they’re just looking to profit off your need for knowledge.