The biggest question facing home owners today, “Do I lease or own a solar power solution?” Leasing was a popular option for many years for a few reasons; 1) no capital investment, 2) monthly payments were less than a loan, 3) uncertainty of maintenance and how long you might live in the home, 4) and the ROI was more lucrative. Fast forward to today, there have been steady dramatic drops in price for rooftop solar systems for residential and commercial real estate over the last few years.
Home owners are increasingly choosing to buy their systems rather than lease them to reap the full financial benefits. The main practical distinction between buying and leasing a solar system is in OWNERSHIP. When you buy a solar panel system, you own the system, either outright (if purchasing with cash) or after repaying your solar loan. For those that lease the system or sign a power purchase agreement (PPA), a third party owns the solar panel system.
This distinction impacts the cost, maintenance, terms, financial offsets, and savings/returns on investment of your solar panel system. In addition, not all companies offer solar leases and/or PPAs—confirm that your chosen provider offers the financing option that you want most. Note that PPAs are not legally permitted in many areas. A report by GTM Research found that by 2014, 72% of residential solar systems in the U.S. were owned by a third party, meaning consumers were under a PPA. GTM’s report stated that by 2020, direct ownership of rooftop solar systems will be 46% of the forecasted 5.2gW (gigawatt) market. “Our data and others are showing that consumers are trending away from the leasing option in favor of owning their solar systems, either with a loan or with cash,” said Vikram Aggarwal, CEO of solar system marketplace EnergySage.
What else is interesting, the fact you can “control” your future more with owning your solar panels. It is the same reason you bought your home, to have a consistent payment for your budget and the future investment benefits. You get:
1) The 30% earned income tax breaks – not the lease company.
2) To own the system, so once it’s paid off, freedom from ANY energy payment for at least 5-15 years.
3) Lock in energy prices at today’s rate and hedge against the inevitable energy inflation.
4) Increase your home value without increasing your property tax liability!
It’s no wonder we have been so busy helping people make the flip to solar in Texas. We work with the top green lenders in the country with various $0 down financing options to get you part of the solar energy revolution.