Lease your solar system, don't buy it?

I heard a news report on the radio today about a company called Solar City. They are expanding to Arizona and have opened an office in Phoenix.

There business concept is fascinating and basically goes like this: You lease the solar equipment from them and they install it. You pay a monthly lease fee and reap the benefits of the 30% tax credit they get for being a commercial entity. Homeowners only get a $2000 tax break. You start saving on your electric bill right away...and don't have to fork out $20,000 to $30,000 for a nice system. Read about them here:

I think its a good idea. What do you think?


  • icarus
    icarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Lease your solar system, don't buy it?

    Without reading the link,,,,See also: CitizenRE.

  • Telco
    Telco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Lease your solar system, don't buy it?

    Leases are never a good idea unless you can deduct it from taxes, and even that I'm leery about. Essentially you would be saving 40 a month under their plan, and I'd have to wonder what would happen with a tier change. After 15 years you can either buy a heavily used system for probably 80 percent of the new system cost, or have no system at all. Either way, you still have a utility bill to pay. 40 bucks a month just isn't all that much of a savings. I'd also have to wonder what would happen if you wound up having to sell the house, or say the house burned down 10 years into it, would you have to pay them the new cost of the system or a pro-rated price?