Solar Panels: Lease or Buy?

Solar panel on residential roof

If you have the money to purchase solar panels up front, most experts suggest that you buy outright. Read on to find out why some consumers prefer to buy solar panels for their home, while others find that leasing is the right option for them.

 

Pros of Buying Solar Panels

 

1. Reap Savings Immediately

One advantage of purchasing a home solar panel system up front is that you immediately begin to reap 100% of the rewards of using a sustainable, renewable solar energy. Switching to solar energy allows you to take advantage of the free power of the sun.

 

2. Sell Power Back to the Grid

If you’re producing even more solar power than you are using, you may be able to sell that power back to your local power company in a process called net metering. The terms of net metering vary by area, but it’s like having your meter run backwards as you send power back to the grid, and is yet another pro of buying solar panels for your home.

 

3. Take Advantage of Tax Credits

To fully take advantage of the current federal tax credit, you’ll need to buy your solar panels. Under the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, eligible homeowners receive 30 percent of qualified expenditures for a solar system purchase1. As well, many states have tax incentives that will lower the cost of a solar panel installation even further.

 

4. Increase Your Home’s Value

Did you know that solar energy panels can add up to $15,000 to the value of your home? That’s according to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkley Laboratory2. It’s a finding that’s bolstered by Fannie Mae’s guidelines specifying that appraisers should take into account solar systems when determining a house’s appraised value.

 

Pros of Leasing Solar Panels

 

1. No Up-Front Costs

Verengo Offers $0 down options for Power Purchase agreement (PPA) plans. Pay as you go based on set rate for electricity the solar system produces. You can protect yourself from increasing utility rates. You pay only for the solar power you produce.

 

2. Immediate, Predictable Energy Savings

The amount of savings will vary, but you can save between 10 and 50 percent off your normal utility bill if you lease a solar panel system. Verengo has Solar Savings calculator tool that lets you see what your potential savings with solar can be. The amount you save after a solar panel installation depends on where you live, how many panels fit on your roof, how much sun you get, how much energy you use, and how high your original per kilowatt-hour cost was, among other factors.

 

3. No Maintenance Worries

Although solar panel systems are generally low maintenance, consumers who lease their solar panels have no responsibilities in maintaining it. If something breaks, needs fixing, or otherwise requires an update, the solar company takes care of it.

Read more on various financing options in our Guide to Solar Financing blog post. 

 

Related:

 

Notes

Residential Renewable Enery Tax Credit, http://energy.gov/savings/residential-renewable-energy-tax-credit

2 Berkeley Lab Illuminates Price Premiums for U.S. Solar Home Sales, http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/01/13/berkeley-lab-illuminates-price-premiums-u-s-solar-home-sales/

What Can You Save With Solar?

With no end in sight for soaring electricity rates, your switch to solar will secure affordable power for your home & family for years to come.