Why It's Better To Own Your Solar Panels Vs. Leasing Them

What are the benefits of purchasing your solar panels? Are you better off just leasing them? Here are our thoughts!

You Save More Money When You Own Your Solar Panels

While a no down payment lease agreement may sound attractive, you’re actually missing out on many additional opportunities to save money that are only available to buyers. That’s right – more rebates, the 30% Federal Tax Credit and SREC added income. When you lease a system, the solar company takes all of these incentives and you are left with nothing.

Your Home Value Will Increase After You Add Solar Panels

According to the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), homes with solar panels generally sell 20% faster and for 17% more than their neighbors. A leased solar system does not add value to the home, since it is owned by a third party and is not considered a permanent addition to the property. To see the real value of your system, check out our partners, Savenia, for your solar home value report.

You’re Investing In Your Property When You Buy

A lease is a quick fix, since the payments are designed to be less than your utility bill, but it is not a long term solution. Even at the end of your lease term, you must renew your lease or negotiate a buyout. By owning your system, that system is yours free and clear for life! If you own your property, why not own everything that’s on it!

A Solar Lease May Actually Lower Your Home Value

Someone interested in a home with a solar lease must qualify for the lease in addition to qualifying for their mortgage. Some mortgage companies will actually require you to buy out the lease prior to selling the home. This puts you at the mercy of the solar leasing company, to either qualify the buyer or negotiate a fair buyout. Finding a buyer with excellent credit and a willingness to assume your lease will be an added hassle, if you ever decide to sell your property. 

Leasing Leaves You At The Mercy Of The Market

With a solar lease, you’re only saving money if the utility prices actually exceed your lease payments. Costs of electricity have been consistently on the rise, but they can fluctuate from time to time. If your system is not sized exactly right, or you become eligible for utility special rate programs in the future, you can quickly get upside-down on your lease payments versus your utility savings.

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