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Is Renting Solar Panels the Right Option For You?

Jessica PirroMay 1, 20192780

A trend that is on the rise in the solar panels industry is, leasing solar panels. By signing a solar lease or PPA you are essentially ‘renting’ solar panels. Leasing solar was first invented by Sunrun in 2007.

With solar panel leasing, homeowners are able to go solar for $0 down. Solar leasing is now one of the most popular way for homeowners to receive the benefits that solar power has to offer.

Solar loans vs. Solar leasing 

Solar loans and solar leases both offer homeowners benefits and there are many factors to consider when deciding which financing route that you would like to take.

The amount of cash that will be coming in during the length of the agreement:

When you have a $0-down solar loan and a $0-down solar lease, you will see immediate savings. This is because you aren’t paying any money out of pocket and your monthly solar loan/solar lease will be less than your current monthly utility bill.

Typically those who take a solar loan will have higher savings than those who are leasing solar. This is for no reason other than when someone has a solar loan they usually can pay it off between7-15 years, but when someone is leasing solar panels they have to make regular payments throughout the agreement.

There is also some prepaid/custom down payment solar leasing that require some out-of-pocket down payments that will help lower the monthly cost.

For those who want to wish to see immediate financial benefits by switching to solar panels, leasing solar panels or loaning solar panels will help you do so.

Benefits of leasing

A benefit that comes with leasing solar is that most solar lease agreements include maintenance and repairs for the solar system, system monitoring, insurance and a roof penetration warranty.

Some solar company who offer solar panel leasing include a compete warranty that help homeowners stay worry free because they are completely covered. Some of these warranties can cover your solar lease for 25 years.

These solar panel leasing warranties include 25 years of maintenance, free equipment replacements, someone proactively monitoring your system and it covers all of the repairs that the system needs.

The solar leasing option also includes full insurance coverage as well as a very important roof penetration warranty. The coverage that is offered while leasing solar is super beneficial because you get years of solar savings and don’t have to pay for any maintenance fees.

If someone is interested in leasing solar, but they aren’t interested in committing to the maintenance and repairs, solar panel leasing is a viable option.

What happens if I move? 

A common question that is asked when someone is considering leasing solar is, what happens if I move? It is a valid question because if you are leasing solar you don’t own the solar system therefore it isn’t yours to sell.

Luckily when someone is leasing solar panels and decides sell their home that the solar panels are installed on, the company that they signed the solar lease with, will help you sell your solar home and you can transfer your solar lease contract to the new homeowner.  

Monthly solar leasing payments

The usual monthly payment for those who are leasing solar panels increases annually from 1to 3 percent. This can turn some people off from leasing solar.

However, even though annual payments go up from 1to 3 percent, leasing solar can still save you 10 to 30 percent off the annual utility bill.

How long do the solar leasing agreements last?

When you sign a solar lease agreement you are usually offered a 20 or 25 year agreement. At the end of your solar lease agreement you are offered the option to purchase your solar panels.

One issue with buying the solar panels after the solar lease agreement is up, is 20 to 25 years is typically the end of a solar panels life. Though it is possible to make your solar panels outlive their warranty, and in some cases there have been panels still produce energy 10 years after their lifetime warranty expires.

Leasing solar panels is a quick option

Waiting for a solar loan may take a while to approve and may even require for someone to come out appraise your property as well as title searches and mortgage filings. The process of filing for a loan could several weeks to get the approval.

However, solar leasing is just the opposite. You can be approved and sign a solar lease in just one meeting. If you are looking for a quick financing opting, leasing solar panels would be ideal.  

Power producing guarantee  

When you sign your solar leasing agreement you are paying for the power that the panels produce, not the panels themselves. Not only will you get installation and maintenance, but when you sign you solar lease a lot of solar panel companies will say that you are signing up for a performance guarantee.

Interested in signing a solar lease?

If you are interested in signing a solar lease you should look into your options. You can start off by looking at solar companies that offer solar leasing options and compare prices.

You should also look into the other options for solar panels that are on the market and decide which option would be the best for you.

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