Solar Lease Vs Solar Purchase

Today, millions of Americans, be it a family or business have opted for solar panels and installed the same. People at large are using solar energy and saving money and reducing carbon pollution. There are two ways to get your solar panel installed. Either you lease a solar PV system or you buy it. If you lease the system, a third party owns the the solar panel system whereas buying a solar panel system will give you the direct ownership.

Reasons to Lease:

  1. Leasing saves you the big upfront costs of buying but over the years the solar installation cost has gone down significantly. We can now install panels for $2/watt.
  2. With leasing, you don’t have to pay to maintain the system. This is absolutely true but the flip side is that there is LITTLE to NO maintenance needed for solar installs. The Solar Panels have 25 year warranty and micro-inverter also have 25 year warranty.
  3. Leasing can save you money over utility produced electricity. This is true provided the lease cost does not offset the electricity rate provided by the leasing company. When leasing you end up buying electricity from the leasing company instead of the utility provider.
  4. Leasing gives you affordable access to electricity independence and go green – without big upfront costs. This reason is similar to No. 1, but with a slight twist. With a solar system on your roof, you have the satisfaction of knowing you’re producing all, or some, of your electricity locally and, although you don’t own the panels, you’re still likely to feel more independent about how you produce your electricity than if you were drawing 100 percent of your electricity from your utility.

Reasons to Purchase:

  1. Buying is a better economic bet. Solar leasing companies have to make money, and, even though you’re likely to save by paying leasing companies for your electricity as opposed to forking money over to your utility, leasing companies will still be making money off of you. For instance, they pocket all solar incentives you’d otherwise get if you bought the system. If you buy, you pocket all of the incentives and all of the long-term electricity savings yourself. Of course, if you need to take out a loan to buy a system, you’ll want to calculate the cost of interest into the total savings picture. We always recommend looking at the total NET cost with Buy and Lease. This will give you a good picture of the price difference in lease and purchase. The lease payments are calculated based on a system cost which is generally lot higher when compared to purchase price.
  2. It might be easier to sell your home with a solar system you’ve bought. Selling a house without a 20 year lease debt is considered to be easier. At times new home owners do not want to continue the lease payments which may lead to you breaking a lease which has costs based on the lease agreements. We definitely wouldn’t recommend leasing or buying a solar system if you think you’re going to be moving within the next five to seven years (or less).
  3. When you buy solar, you make the money on the value solar adds to your home.  Ideally, after you’ve benefited from several years with your PV system, the money you’ve invested in your solar system will repay itself in the price you’re able to ask and the extra money you make will land in your pocket.
  4. Buying offers you more flexibility, freedom and satisfaction. All the electricity you produce is yours. You do not have to worry about changing electricity rates or the hike in the lease payments.

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