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Buying Vs Leasing Solar Panels Comparison

There's a few, notable differences between buying and leasing solar panels that you may want to compare side by side. With that said, here's a breakdown:


Installation Costs:


Solar Lease:

  • Often $0 out of pocket which means you can save on electricity without investing any money.

  • No 30% tax credit because you don't own the system.

Solar Loan/Purchase:

  • Often $15,000 or more in upfront costs.

  • You qualify for the 30% tax credit because you own the system.

  • Often times you can get rebates that reduce the purchase price by up to 50%.


Maintenance Costs:

Solar Lease:

  • Maintenance is handled by the leasing company. If anything goes wrong, they cover the cost of repairs.

  • You get a free app to track your power usage.

Solar Loan/Purchase:

  • You're responsible for maintaining the system and any repairs that need to be made. However, its important to note that solar panels are extremely durable and don't have moving parts so repairs are rare.

  • May not include the power usage tracking app.


Contract Terms:


Solar Lease:

  • Leases are often 20-25 years long. If you sell your home, the new homeowner will need to take over payments.

Solar Loan/Purchase:

  • Loans can vary depending on your credit score and income. However, they typically last 10-20 years. You own the panels so it adds approximately $15,000-$20,000 to the value of your home.


Return on Investment:


Solar Lease:

  • Often you get into a lease with $0 invested and start to see savings of around 10-30% immediately. And the costs don't go up so your savings grow as the utility companies increase their rates each year.

Solar Loan/Purchase:

  • You'll save on electricity over the life of your solar panels. However, it will take several years before the savings have equaled the money you laid out to purchase the panels in the first place. Once its caught up, you get free electricity for the life of your panels.

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