When going solar, should you lease or buy?

RSSfeed Registered Users Posts: 3,810 ✭✭
As the cost of solar technology drops, more and more homeowners are considering buying or leasing rooftop solar panels. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy projects that 900,000 homes will feature solar installations by the year 2020. Properly sized, a solar photovoltaic system can reduce your energy costs by 50 percent or more, and...



  • solarix
    solarix Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
    If you can afford the upfront cost and can use the tax credits - its a no-brainer to purchase. If you can't use the tax credits, the leasing companies can and by jacking up the theoretical cost of the system to the limit that the IRS will let them, they can really get the monthly payments down. The downside of a lease is that if/when you want to sell the house, the new owner has to qualify for the lease etc. I'm told that FHA won't finance homes with 3rd-party leases so that limits your buyer pool too. On the other hand if you want a big company to be responsible for anything that can go wrong (which is not much) then let the leasing company hold your hand.
    Buy it yourself - it should pay off in 7 to 8 years, lease it and you really won't see much savings for 20 years.