Should you buy or lease your solar panel system? You already know that choosing solar has significant financial returns and environmental benefits, but there are questions you have to answer before you start to see your reader run backwards. Most importantly, how will you finance your system? There are solutions for every budget. There are two main financing options available when installing a solar energy system. One way is to buy the system like buying a house.
The other way is like renting an apartment. Both have benefits. Buying your system, is the best way to maximize your financial savings and returns. All the savings come straight to you. You can save between 40 % and 70 % over the lifetime of your solar panels.
Buying your system yourself, usually costs at least $10,000 to $20,000 after tax breaks and incentives. If you don’t have that kind of capital, many lending institutions around the country offer loans that are specific to going solar.
With loans, you can own your system with zero money down. If you own your solar panels, you can take advantage of the ITC, a federal tax credit that helps people pay for solar projects. The ITC lets you subtract 30 % of the cost of your system from your tax bill.
If your tax bill is smaller than the value of the ITC for your system, leasing can be a great option. Leasing is also ideal if you don’t want to pay the upfront costs or take out a loan or if your credit score is below 650.
When you lease your system, you sign an agreement with the company that owns the solar panels. In exchange for a set monthly payment, they install the panels on your property, for you to use and you enjoy the electricity produced for the length of the contract. Solar panels are very durable and require little to no maintenance during their 30 year lifespan. However, if you’re worried about maintenance, a solar lease might be a better option for you.
The company that owns the panels will be responsible for any repairs and they’ll come out and give you a hand. Now you know the different benefits of buying and leasing your solar energy system.
Got more questions? We’ve got the answers on our solar frequently asked questions.