Is It Better to Lease or Buy Solar Panels?

When you decide to get solar panels for your property, you might be surprised to find that leasing solar panels is an option. Choosing between leasing and buying your solar panels can impact your costs and the financial benefits of your system, so it makes sense to consider which is the best option for you.

What Does It Mean to Lease Solar Panels for Your Property?

When you lease solar panels, the company providing the panels owns them. Your lease is generally for 20 to 25 years, and after your lease term is over, you can renew the lease or purchase the panels. While the initial costs of installing the panels are low, you will be charged a monthly cost for the panels.

Why Is Buying Solar Panels Better Than Leasing?

The low start-up costs can make leasing seem appealing. In addition, companies offering leasing will often handle some maintenance and repairs of the panels for you and some even offer apps to help you track your system. Make no mistake, however — leasing comes at a cost and can be problematic if you decide to sell your property.

  1. Increased Property Value – Since you don’t own leased panels outright, they do not add to the value of your business or home. If you move or sell, the panels may not be transferrable and buyers of your property will need to pick up your monthly lease payments.
  2. Tax Credit Incentives – In addition, if you lease, you are not eligible to reduce your tax liability through the Federal Investment Tax Credit that’s available to businesses and homeowners. In addition, businesses lose a major tax benefit because they can’t claim the solar panel system as a depreciation asset.
  3. Greater Savings – When you buy your solar panels, they become an asset. They can add to your property and you don’t have to pay the cost of leasing. This allows you to enjoy greater potential savings. After the initial purchase costs, you may end up having to pay for no electrical costs at all. You will also be eligible for any deductions or credits your municipality offers. Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs), are created from your purchased solar system and can be sold to your utility, allowing you to make money from your solar system.
  4. Flexibility & Freedom – Choosing to lease your panels forces you to be on that company’s schedule. It is important to read between the fine lines of your contract. Some companies will not make your system a priority. If you find you have roof damage, you’ll have to get your solar panels removed to assess and fix the roof damage. It often takes months before the leasing company can find the time to come and remove and replace the panels.
  5. Financing Options – You can purchase your solar panel system with cash or finance your solar system. If you choose to finance, you can choose a low monthly rate that offers you similar low costs as a lease, but with the added benefit that you own your panels outright. It’s usually possible for the monthly solar finance payment to be lower than your monthly electric bill.

How KC Green Energy Is Different

KC Green Energy is unique in that we’re a division of a family-owned contracting business that has been in the roofing industry for over 45 years. Call us if you want to trust your roof-mounted solar system to a vendor that knows roofs. We work with the top manufacturers of solar system equipment and we are NABCEP certified. We care about high-quality services and treating customers right. We’re always transparent and honest and we never subcontract, so we can stand fully behind our work.

To get started with solar power in your home, contact us for a free consultation or give us a call at (855) 465-2473.