Unveiling the Scam of Free Solar Panels: All You Need To Know!

If you are among those who have recently browsed for solar energy, panels, or solar brands and have come across ads for free solar panels, this blog is absolutely for you! 

Advertisements for free solar panels for home use are present all over the web and on social media. However, you must be aware of misleading advertisements by anonymous and unauthorised solar system contractors and installers. 

It is because there is no such thing as ‘free solar panels’ or ‘no-cost solar power system’. If you have heard about such programs, you’re being fed a cheap sales pitch. Fraudsters resort to such scams to tempt you. 

Let us understand why you need to be vigilant not to fall prey to such scams and how you can rather get the benefits offered by the government in the form of solar subsidies.

Do Not Fall Prey to Fake Solar Advertising!

Ads for free solar panels are deceiving. Most of such ads talk about a new solar energy promotion program launched by the federal government. However, note that no such program has been launched by the Indian government. So, how do these fake companies or apps offer ‘free solar panels’?

Under such solar financing ads and agreements, a fake solar company first offers to install solar panels for no down payment (hence, the misleading use of the word “free”). 

If you see any advertisements that suggest something like ‘free solar panels for home use’, ‘zero-money-down installation’, or ‘free enrollment’, remember that such promises are all just too good to be true. 

However, the government runs a solar subsidy scheme to offer financial assistance to homeowners and housing societies for the installation of rooftop on-grid solar systems. Let us discuss the subsidy scheme that the central and state government actually runs! 

Solar Subsidy Schemes Run By The Government of India

The Indian government has set a target of generating 4 GW worth of solar electricity from home installations by December 2024 via the subsidy scheme. This scheme is administered by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) department. The implementing agencies of this scheme are the state DISCOMs.

Remarkably, India has also recently launched a New Programme for Rooftop Solar Phase II. Under this, a National Portal for Rooftop Solar has been activated where any Indian consumer or solar company can apply for solar subsidy and net metering.

So, there are two solar subsidy schemes being run in the country as of now: one is at the national level scheme (known as the DBT scheme), and the other is the subsidy scheme offered by different state governments. Let us review both of them one by one!

National Simplified DBT Subsidy Scheme

DBT stands for Direct Bank Transfer. As per this scheme, once the solar power system is installed and officially commissioned, the subsidy will be transferred directly to the bank account of the consumer in 30 days.

Any consumer across India can apply for this subsidy scheme. Here’s the subsidy offered by the government under the DBT Scheme:

Plant CapacitySubsidy Offered
Up to 3kWRs. 14588/- per kW
Above 3kW and up to 10kWRs. 14588/- per kW for the initial 3kWRs. 7294/- per kW for the remaining capacities
Above 10kWRs. 94822/- fixed

State-Run Solar Subsidy Scheme

Different Indian states actively run subsidy schemes in association with the MNRE. Under the state-run subsidy program, the consumers receive subsidy discounts upfront. The discoms disburse subsidies to the vendors after the solar system is installed and commissioned.

Notably, the subsidy under the state-run programme is offered on the L1 rates (also known as discovered rates), which are different for each state.

Here is a quick glimpse of subsidies offered by different states.

StateRespective Nodal Agency/ DiscomCategory: 1-3 kW
40% of L1
Category: 3-10 kW
20% of L1
Category: >10 kW
0% 
Madhya PradeshMPCZ₹44,495.80₹44,154.40₹40,968.00
MaharashtraMSEDCL₹47,113.20₹45,064.80₹42,106.00
GujaratMGVCL₹47,796.00₹46,089.00₹43,813.00
DelhiBSES₹44,382.00₹42,675.00₹47,386.00
TelanganaTSRESCO₹47,800.00₹46,600.00₹43,500.00
Dakshin HaryanaDBVN₹39,450.00₹38,090.00₹37,570.00
ChhattisgarhCSPDCL₹48,365.00₹46,089.00₹43,501.19

Conclusion

The decision to invest in solar energy is crucial. You must think wisely and prevent yourself from falling prey to fraudsters who publicise gimmicky or misleading advertisements selling free solar panels for monetary gains. 

Ensure to duly verify the sources before taking any action on buying free solar panels. For more details, check the government’s website.

The initiative by MNRE is a praiseworthy move towards a sustainable future. Thus, you must opt to benefit from the subsidy schemes offered by the government. Choose to go solar through authentic schemes and services!

FAQs

Q1. Is there any free solar panels scheme run by the Government of India?

No, the Indian government does not run any scheme that offers free solar panels for home use. If you see any such information anywhere or on the web, it is probably a scam. 

However, the government offers a solar subsidy scheme to encourage people to install on-grid rooftop solar systems. 

Q2. What are the conditions for availing of the solar subsidy for solar panels for homes?

As discussed, instead of falling for ads offering free solar panels, you must apply for government subsidies. Here are the eligibility conditions to avail of a subsidy for installing solar panels:

  • – The subsidy is only for ALMM-approved solar panels that are manufactured in India.
  • – Only homeowners & housing societies can apply.
  • – The subsidy is granted for on-grid rooftop solar systems only.
  • – The limit for residential solar capacity for subsidy is 10 KW.
  • – The limit for the housing society’s solar capacity for subsidy is 500 KW.
  • – A subsidy is not provided for commercial establishments.
Q3. Why does the installation cost of solar panels for homes vary with different solar companies?

Offering ‘free solar panels’ is a hoax! The cost of installing a solar system varies for different brands. Major factors affecting the cost of installation are:

  • – Brand of solar panels selected
  • – Type of solar panels 
  • – Value-added services opted