Two of the leading companies that give away free solar panels are Sunrun and SolarCity, as of 2015. Both companies offer free solar panels to customers who meet specific requirements, including a roof that faces south, ample sunlight and sufficient room for the panels.
Under the agreement with these companies, customers are given a solar energy system to use for free for 20 to 25 years. The provider maintains and monitors the system, and in return, the customer agrees to purchase power from the company that installed the panels for the duration of the contract.
Solar energy is cheaper than that received from traditional power companies. Rates that Sunrun and SolarCity charge are locked in and according to free Solar Panels, are expected to go up by 2.9 percent a year, in comparison to the 6 percent being predicted from the utility company.
Sunrun operates in 12 states on both the east and west coast and SolarCity has plans available in 15 states, including California, Colorado, Texas and Washington D.C. Both company buffer costs by taking advantage of net metering, a process where excess energy that isn't used is sold back to the power company.
Other advantages to signing up for free solar panels include being eligible for federal and state tax credits, discounts and grants.