Buying Solar Panels Vs. Leasing Solar Panels


Should you buy your solar panels or lease your solar panels? When it comes to buying solar panels, as with any big investment, you want to be sure you have all the facts so you can make the best decision when you make your purchase. And when it comes to solar, one of the biggest questions is whether to buy or lease your solar panel system.

Sunpro Buying Solar PanelsShould you be buying Solar Panels?

With advancements in technology, government incentives such as tax credits, and a growing competitive market, buying your solar system is quite affordable. Some states even offer cash rebates to purchasers for their solar panels! Owning your system outright will give you the best overall savings over the next 20 years than if  lease your panels. In addition to that, your solar system will increase your home value, which gives you more sellers power if you ever need to move. 

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Why You Should Not Lease Solar Panels

Leasing solar panels is much different than buying your own system. When leasing a solar panel system, you allow a third-party supplier to install their panels on your rooftop for typically 20 years. The third party owns the solar panels and thus receives all government subsidies and tax benefits, and you pay them a monthly fee. After a certain amount of time, you would usually have the option of purchasing the solar panels yourself.

You receive none of the incentives or credits you would just buying solar panels. And usually it’s a 20 year-long lease, which means that if you ever need to move you either have to find someone willing to take over the solar lease when they move into the house, or you have to pay a break fee to the leasing company. Another con of leasing is that ultimately your savings are much less than if you simply bought your system, even if you had to take out a loan to do it. Finally, the energy savings you receive from your solar panels over the term of the lease are much less than if you owned your system.

We’ve put together this handy chart that highlights the biggest differences between buying solar panels and leasing solar panels:

Buying Solar Panels

Leasing Solar Panels

With solar loans, tax credits, and state incentives, you can get your solar panels for $0 down.

Because you aren’t buying the system yourself, the leasing company pays all the costs of installation.

When buying your solar panels, you receive all the tax credits and state incentives for going solar.

When leasing, the company you lease from receives all solar incentives and rebates because they own the system.

Your long-term savings are much greater if you own your system, especially since your system will pay for itself in typically 3-7 years.

Most solar leases are 20 years-long, so even if you get to buy your panels at the end of the lease, your overall savings are greatly decreased.

Owning solar panels increases your home value, giving you more seller’s power (and money) if you ever need to move.

If you need to move, the buyer has to agree to take the lease over from you. Otherwise you may have to pay the leasing company a break fee, which can be very expensive.

You get the final say on your solar panel’s design and placement. If there’s something you don’t like, you get a say.

The leasing company designs and installs the array however and wherever it works best on your roof- regardless of curb appeal.

As You Can See…

Choosing to buy your solar panels is ultimately a far better choice. You get all of the benefits, and the greatest savings. Sunpro Solar does not lease our solar panels as we do not find it in the best interest of our homeowners and business owners. Ask your Sunpro Solar consultant for any further details or questions.

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