Buying Solar Panels vs Leasing Solar Panels Which is Right for You?

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Are you considering powering your home with solar panels? if so, you may be starting to wonder where the money’s going to come from. Solar panels save you money on utilities over time, but solar installation can have a high up-front cost.

When it comes to solar installation, there are several options for solar financing, and the best solar services won’t be the same for each person. The main two options are solar leases or paying for solar panels and solar installation out-of-pocket or with a loan.

Solar Leases

Solar leases are ideal for people who are more concerned with green or renewable energy than with making the most money off of a solar energy array. They’re also great for people who don’t want to shoulder the high cost of paying for a solar energy array upfront. Most leases include maintenance and repair services, and the solar leasing company typically provides free mobile or online apps for you to track your energy use.

Solar leases can cost anywhere from nothing to $3,000 up front, and you’ll pay for the energy they provide usually for a term of 20 years. Unfortunately, solar leases may not qualify you for tax credits, rebates or incentives, but you’ll usually save between 10-15% on utilities.

Cash or Solar Loan

Paying for solar panels up front is often the best way to maximize on the financial benefits of solar installation. You’ll also typically be eligible for more federal and state tax incentives and rebates. If you have the cash to buy a system or can borrow it, this is probably a good option for you. Businesses and people planning to sell their homes in a few years can also benefit, because a solar array will increase the property value and decrease the time your building takes to sell.

Usually, it costs from $15,000-$30,000 to pay for a system upfront, but that’s not counting cash rebates and tax credits, which can cut that cost by as much as 50%. When you purchase a solar array, you’re responsible for maintaining it, though many issues will be covered under warranty. You may also have to pay extra to track your energy use. On average, your return on investment each year will be about 10-30%, and any energy you generate will be free.

Talk to a solar installer in your area to decide which option works best for you?
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