You’ve strolled around your neighborhood to check out solar panel installations. Now, you’re ready to go solar after researching both the financial and environmental advantages of clean, green solar power. Yet the cost of installing a solar panel system can be an expensive, upfront investment. Solar leasing is one option available to homeowners, but is it the right choice?
Beginnings of Solar Leasing
From 1998 to 2009, the cost of installed solar decreased by 30%. Solar panel leasing helped to dramatically increase the home install base starting around 2009, when solar power was less than 0.1% of the U.S. electricity supply. In 2009, the cost of a solar panel installation was $8.50 per watt and a residential photovoltaic system (PV) could cost more than $50,000. A huge upfront outlay of cash to install solar. Since 2010, the cost of installed solar dropped by an additional 70%. By 2020, solar energy provided 2.3% of total U.S. electricity according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The cost per watt has fallen as low as 60 cents per watt in 2021 with the average home PV system installation cost starting at $7,000 depending on the types of solar equipment installed, square footage, and the home’s geographic area.
Here’s How a Solar Lease Works
When you lease solar panels, a third party owns the solar equipment installed at your residence. You’ll pay a set monthly payment to your local solar power installation company. The solar energy your panels produce will be used to decrease your monthly power utility bill. Most often, the installer will partner with a company that specializes in solar leases. The installation business will design, install, and maintain the solar panel system. However, it’s important to note that you do not own your system, and it can be repossessed if you miss payments. You also don’t benefit from tax incentives, including the 26% federal solar tax credit. Solar leases can also be problematic if you plan to sell your home. Potential buyers may not want to take on the commitment of an existing solar lease.
A Better Option: Financing Your Own System
If you’re in a position to take on loan payments, we highly recommend financing your own system over leasing from a third-party company. You’ll not only reap the long-term benefits of owning a solar system, you’ll also gain the incentives, rebates, and tax credits that can save you substantially.
When you’re ready to go solar, Cool Blew Solar can save you money by reducing or eliminating your monthly electric bill, helping you become less dependent on your local utility company, and giving you the opportunity to make a positive impact on your neighborhood and environment. Call us today to learn more about our financing options at 623-234-2836!