A solar lease might be the best option if:

  • You’re more interested in electricity generated from renewable resources than
    the financial benefits.

  • You don’t want to hassle with any maintenance or repairs.
  • You don’t want to make a cash investment.
  • You don’t pay enough in taxes to benefit from the solar tax credits.
  • You’d like an option to lock in your electricity rate for 20 years.
  • You prefer not making a substantial down payment

Buying solar system might be the best option if:

  • You have the cash or if you don’t, you’re comfortable borrowing the money.
  • Your biggest interest is maximizing the financial benefits of solar.
  • You’re planning on selling your home soon and want to increase its value quickly; thereby making the sell faster as well.
  • You can benefit from reducing the amount of taxes you pay.
  • You have a good credit score.

Is it better to lease or buy solar system?

Solar leasing programs that require little or no money up-front have played a key role in tremendous solar growth in the recent years. When purchasing residential solar system you are eligible to receive a 30 percent federal tax credit that will bring the cost down right away. Then there’s the savings on your utility bill each month. In certain markets there’s another benefit: State tax credits or Solar Renewable Energy Certificates, or SRECs. You sell SRECs to power companies that are required to get some of their electricity from renewable sources. Every time you accumulate 1,000 kilowatt hours of energy, you can sell one certificate. If you want a simpler approach, you can go with a solar leasing company that installs the solar panels, maintains them, keeps the government subsidies and then leases the system back to you. You could pay per month with no or little money up front, or pre pay entire lease term amount at the discounted rate. The lease payments may go up, depending on the lease terms, but historically electricity have gone up annually. The benefit of solar lease is that you don’t have to figure all the incentives and subsidies. With solar lease you can typically buy the panels in the future from the solar leasing company at a discounted price. Some people favor ownership, simply because it means keeping more of the dollars over the lifetime of that solar panel in the pocket of the owner. Both purchase and solar lease are a good deal from the standpoint of saving money. If you don’t have the money to buy solar panels up front, you can borrow it. Some companies offer special financing for solar panels. Solar leases aren’t available everywhere as they’re mostly in sunny states that have generous subsidies.

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