Should You Buy or Lease Your Solar Panels?

Should You Buy or Lease Your Solar Panels? July 1, 2018Leave a comment

These days, it seems like everyone is going solar. There is a good reason for that. Solar energy is becoming cheaper than ever and it is actually viable now to set up solar panels to replace or supplement electricity that you get from your normal power.. In the past, it was so expensive to set up a solar energy system that it was easier just to use electricity from the power plant. But now solar panels are not only everywhere, they are also pretty inexpensive.

One of the choices that anyone considering solar energy is faced with is whether to lease their solar panels or to buy them. In this article, we will be looking at the advantages of leasing versus the advantages of buying. They both have their advantages, so it will be up to you to decide which one you’re going to go with.

Leasing: The Upfront Costs

Leasing The Upfront Costs

One of the advantages of leasing your solar panels is that you do not have the upfront costs that come with buying them. Buying a solar panel system can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on how much power you need. For example, if you were planning on replacing your entire electrical needs with solar energy, then you would need as many as a dozen different solar panels installed and this can get really expensive.

Even if you build your solar panels yourself, you’re still going to spend a great deal of money. Most people who buy solar panel systems in the United States do so on credit and end up paying for it for almost as long as they pay for their home. But the advantage of leasing is that you do not have this upfront cost and you may not have any upfront costs at all. Instead, you will simply be paying the monthly fee or panel system and all of the equipment goes with it. This can be really advantageous for those who do not have large sums of money to invest in their solar panel system. It is also very possible for your lease payments to be much lower than your current electrical bill.

Leasing: The Maintenance Costs

Another advantage to leasing is that you might not be responsible for the maintenance costs that come with having a solar panel system. Like with anything else, solar energy systems are going to break down once in a while, need parts replaced or need repaired. While this is just going to be a drop in the bucket when compared to the overall cost of buying a system, it is still an expense you will have to deal with if you buy a system. Since you own the solar system, you alone are going to be responsible for any maintenance costs or costly equipment repairs or replacements.

But when you lease solar panel system, you may not be responsible for repairs and maintenance. Not every lease includes repair costs, but many of them do, and so when something breaks down all you have to do is call the company that you are leasing the solar panels from and they will come out and do the work much in the same way that a landlord does repairs on the apartment that he or she is leasing. This is definitely something that you want to evaluate when it comes to choosing whether to buy or lease solar power system.

Buying: The Long-Term Contract

Buying The Long-Term Contract

Of course, buying also has its advantages. One thing that many people do not realize when they start looking into leasing a solar energy system is that leasing is not a short-term thing. When you lease a solar energy system, the company is looking at it as a long-term power solution for your home and that means an extremely long contract. It is not unusual at all for solar lease terms to extend 10, 20 or even 30 years. That means that for that period of time, you were going to be paying that same lease payment and the company may not even agreed to lease to you unless you sign up for a contract that is extended like that.

That’s probably why people choose to buy their solar panel system instead. If you’re going to be making payments on something for many years to come, then you may as well own the system when you’re done with it. Buying a solar energy system on credit and then making payments and paying it off in 10 to 15 years is preferable for many people then leasing it for the same term. Whether this is valid for you is something that you will have to decide yourself.

Buying: The Difficulties When Selling Your Home

Finally, buying offers another advantage: being able to control the solar energy system if you decide to sell your home at some point. The problem is, if you lease the solar energy system and you decide to sell your home, then you may be stuck making payments on the solar system regardless of who buys your home. You might not be able to move it to a different home either. That means that you are going to be making payments on someone else’s solar energy system until the terms of your lease are up. You really have to read the fine print on your solar lease contract to find out if this is going to be an issue or not.

Of course, when you buy your solar energy system, you don’t have to worry about that because you own it. You can sell it as part of your home and at the value of the solar energy system to the asking price, or you can dismantle it and move it to your new home in some cases.

Updated August 5, 2018

Alexander Thomas

Alexander Thomas

About The Author

Alexander is one of the top writers working at MageSolar. He has a keen interest in solar technology and writes for a number of high profile tech publications. He is proud to say that his home is almost carbon neutral and he is the proud owner of several solar generators and a solar panel array!

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