Trying to decide whether to lease or buy a solar power system? Our experienced team here at Solar Dad & Sons can help.
Generally, we recommend purchasing solar power systems due to the long-term financial benefits you’ll enjoy. If you simply can’t make the upfront investment, though, solar power is still an option: we offer solar leasing through a partner.
Buying solar power is a long-term investment. That means you pay a little more up front, but reap the benefits for decades to come. The photovoltaic panels, energy converters, and any relevant storage system or battery all belong to you, and the maximum amount of savings is reflected on your monthly utility bill.
Leasing solar, on the other hand, may be a good solution for the short-term. Often, leasing solar power comes with zero upfront cost and immediate savings on your monthly utility bill.
The downside to leasing? Simply put, that valuable solar energy system won’t be yours. Your home’s value won’t see the same increase, and you won’t realize the full extent of energy savings, since you’ll be paying the leasing company for the privilege of maintaining those solar panels on your roof.
Here are some key factors to consider:
Upfront Installation Costs—and Tax Credits
The big advantage to leasing vs. buying solar power is that you don’t make an upfront investment when you lease. Of course, that also means you can’t take advantage of of the generous state and federal tax credits or rebates available—the solar leasing company will benefit from those instead.
When you lease solar panels, you do not own them—meaning your home will not see an additional value in having this valuable asset as part of the home purchase. You can transfer a solar lease upon moving, but your home’s value is not likely to increase. On the other hand, when you buy and install solar panels that you own, the solar energy system will be calculated into your home’s overall value when you sell—just like any major appliance you might choose to leave behind.
Smaller Monthly Savings
Your monthly utility bill will immediately decrease with leased solar panels, but not as much as if you had purchased the system yourself: after all, the leasing company needs to recoup the cost of its investment. Part of that will come out of your share of the solar energy savings, meaning you actually save less in the short run and the long run when you choose to lease versus buy solar power.
Maintenance and Care
It’s true that the leasing company will pay for maintenance and upkeep of your solar panels—but keep in mind that solar panels tend to be very low-maintenance. (Even during Hurricanes Sandy and Irene, Solar Dad & Sons never received a single call from a customer reporting a panel detaching due to wind.)
When you buy through Solar Dad & Sons, we also guarantee a 10-year warranty on all parts and labor. Additionally, the same expert team who designs and installs your solar panels will be the one you can call 24/7 for emergency service. Our maintenance is easy and affordable, so if this is your main concern in leasing versus buying solar power, you’re in great shape!
The bottom line? Unless you simply can’t afford the cost of investing in solar panels—even with the numerous available financing options and tax credits—then leasing gives you another option. You can still reduce your monthly energy bills and your carbon footprint by using clean energy with leased solar. You won’t be able to realize the benefits of the long-term investment in solar power, but leased solar is certainly better than no solar at all! Contact us today for a free evaluation of your home’s solar potential.