What You Need to Know About a Solar Lease

Jessica PirroMarch 10, 2020 1794 2

What You Need to Know About a Solar Lease

The solar power industry is a growing industry, and with it, there are more and more ways to help you finance a solar power system. When it comes to financing for solar panels you’re going to have a few options, you can pay cash, get a loan for solar or get a solar lease.

What is a Solar Lease?

A solar lease is financing for solar panels option where the homeowners are leasing a solar panel installation from a solar company. Certain solar companies are going to offer Power Purchase Agreements or PPAs.

The contract will typically last for around 15-20 years, and often you aren’t going to have to pay zero-down. A solar lease is also going to come in handy when it comes to the maintenance of solar panels because that’s going to be the responsibility of the solar company. The homeowner will, however, have to pat a fee to the utility company to stay connected to the grid, but there are going to be certain states that are going to offer net-metering if the solar panel installation is producing more solar energy than you need.

At the end of the contract, the solar lease can be renewed, or the homeowners can purchase the solar panels outright.

The Benefits of a Solar Lease

Payless upfront. When you get a solar lease instead of buying the solar panels outright, you might have to pay them a little more money upfront. The cost of purchasing a solar power system and have it installed can add up to thousands of dollars. But in contrast, leasing a solar power system might require a smaller upfront fee. Certain companies offer solar leases that are going to offer zero-down options, which makes a solar lease an inexpensive option. You might have to pay a monthly fee for the use of the solar panels, which might be less than what you’re going to pat for electricity each month.

Forget about repairs. Because you don’t own the solar panels, you are not going to responsible for making the repairs. If you do have an issue with your solar power system, you are just going to have contacted the owner of the solar power system, so that they can make the necessary repairs or replace the solar panels at no cost to you.

When you get a solar lease and PPA, as a homeowner you might have the opportunity to use solar power without the upfront cost of a solar panel installation, which typically ranges up to $30,000.

Another benefit of a solar lease is the solar company will usually handle all of the paperwork, it’s going to be hassle-free and for the homeowners are concerned.

The Issues With Getting a Solar Lease

You aren’t going to make your money back. If you buy your solar power system, you are going to have to make a large amount of money upfront. The cost of a solar panel installation has fallen in the past few years, however, you might still have to spend thousands of dollars if you want to install a solar power system. But if you think about the amount of money a solar power system is going to save you over time, financially it might be a better decision if you buy the solar panels outright. A solar power system can help lower, or perhaps even eliminate your electricity bill. You will also be able to sell the extra solar energy that your solar panel installation generates to your local utility. For the remainder of the solar power systems lifetime, it’s only going to generate a profit for you. If you get a solar lease, you are also going to pay a monthly fee without an end in sight.

If you don’t qualify for tax credits. Most people have heard about the federal investment tax credit as well as getting state tax credits and it can help ease the cost of solar panel installation. However, you don’t own the solar panels, you can’t get the credits. Instead, the owner of the solar power system is going to be the one eligible for the state and federal tax credit, which will normally be worth a couple of thousand dollars for a typical home.

A solar lease can make selling your home more difficult. A typical solar lease can last up to 20 years or longer. If you are planning on selling your house anytime soon, you might have some difficulty. Yes, a solar panel installation is going to be a huge benefit for most homeowners, but the price of a solar lease can’t be lumped into the price of the house. Instead of potential buyers might be willing to assume that your solar lease and have to qualify for the financing for solar panels as well as the mortgage loan.

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