When a customer takes the decision of getting a solar system, the tough question is between buying or leasing to own the Solar Panels. If you buy it, the system is yours either if you pay it with cash, or a Solar Loan. If you choose to take a Solar Leasing Programs, the system is owned and maintained by a third party company. Each option impacts directly to the cost, maintenance, terms, savings/returns and financial offsets on your solar panel system agreement.
In the State ofCalifornia the 70% of the residential Solar Systems were funded by an external party, through a Leasing solar panels PPA, Or Solar Service Agreement. The other 30% were either purchases with cash or financing. With this information the big question for people interested in going solar and doing their research before they get the system that fits for their needs would be: Why are the majority of the solar projects funded through a Solar Lease? Because my neighbors are going solar with a lease, should this be the best for me?
We review the benefits of leasing vs purchasing your solar system:
Save Money right away. You will save about 15-40% of the current utility bill price, depending on the size of your bill. The higher your bill, the more you will save.
No Upfront Cost. You are not required to put money down for installations. Solar Leasing companies pays for everything, from design, engineering, permits, equipment & installation. You only make your lease payment every month once your system is turned on, instead of making the payment to your utility company.
Free Maintenance. If something happens to your system, it’s the leasing company who will fix it. Once again you save as the system is insured by the leasing company.
The system is guaranteed to produce a minimum level of power each year. If the system produces more, it’s totally free for you. If its produces less the leasing company will pay the difference.
Cash is always king. Cash purchases give the highest return on your investment. When you purchase, you own the equipment and all the power it produces with little to no operation costs.
Federal Tax Credits. If there are any incentives available such as tax credits or rebates, you can apply for them which reduces your net cost for the equipment. Right now, there is a 30% tax credit from the IRS if you purchase a solar system for your home. You must owe a dollar in federal tax to get a dollar in credit, but it is available if you have a tax appetite.
Increase Home Value. Purchasing a solar system adds value to your home and increases the value of any future sale of your home. A study was made by the Berkeley National Laboratory that gives credibility to this claim.
It does not matter which choice you make when going solar: cash, financed, or lease. All will give you the same power for a lot less money. That’s why people are excited about replacing the utility with solar. The added benefit of getting your power from the sun verses using the carbon rich forms of fossilized fuel is even greater for our planet. You won’t know if leasing solar panels worth it, until you shop around for a solar power lease or a solar financing program.