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The Difference Between Leasing And Buying Solar

The Difference Between Leasing and Buying Solar

One of the biggest questions people face as they consider making the switch to solar energy revolves around the financing of the solar energy system and whether to purchase or lease. And it can seem like a tricky question on its face. One way to simplify the calculation is to consider what you are looking to gain with a solar energy system.

Are you mostly driven by the financial incentives, or are you more worried about the environmental costs of not doing so? Maybe it’s a combination of both. Do you plan to move any time soon? Are you concerned about having full control over the appearance and maintenance of the solar panels on your home? These are all valid questions, and in this blog we take a look at how the answers to those questions stack up when comparing leasing and buying a solar panel system.

Simply put, the better deal financially in the long term is to purchase your solar energy system rather than lease it. As the owner of the system, you are the sole beneficiary of the financial reward that comes with a huge reduction in utility charges (not to mention the tax credits that come with solar!) and you call the shots on the size and appearance of your solar panel system. Yes, installation requires a healthy upfront cost, but with tax credits and rebates currently on offer this start-up price tends to fall around 15-20k. The good news is we offer zero money down payment options complete with low interest rates loans that further ease the start-up lift. Once up and rolling, you can expect to see a reduction in your bill of 70-100%, savings that recoup the cost of the entire installation in 5-7 years on average! From then on out, it’s money straight back in your pocket. With modern systems easily lasting 20 years, often much longer, that’s a lot of cash!

In addition to providing sizable savings in utility costs, purchasing your solar energy system keeps you in the driver seat on all decisions. That means you, and you alone, get to make decisions about how many panels you want and where you want to put them. This isn’t always the case when you are leasing. After all, you don’t own them, and the leasing company will be looking out for their interests too, sometimes even at the expense of yours. For instance, many owners end up with an unsightly installation because the leasing company wanted a couple more panels and needed them on the roof at the front of the house for maximum sun. Also, it’s not uncommon for leases to include other twists like “escalator clauses” that raise the amount you pay per kilowatt over time and other stipulations that will cut into your savings.

In addition, solar panel leases are long-term commitments, generally falling in the 20-year range. That means if you want to sell your house prior to the expiration of said lease, you will have to have your prospective buyer agree to take on the terms of this lease as well, complicating a selling process that can already be exhausting.

That being said, if environmental impact is your main concern, and you are not interested in dealing with any maintenance or repair to the system at all or are not eligible for any of the tax credits that accompany a solar purchase, leasing a solar panel system might be the option for you. Traditionally initial costs of switching to solar were a major barrier for many who otherwise would have considered purchasing a system outright rather than renting it. It was simply easier: you didn’t have to put any money down and you didn’t have to deal with both an installer and financier of the system.

But the equation has changed! At NJ Solar Power, we’ve completely wiped those two concerns off the table by offering in-house, low interest financing solutions and zero money down payment plans. Invest in your future and that of the planet. Give us a call today to schedule a free assessment of your home. We will get you on your way to a sustainable, and profitable, solar energy solution!