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Solar purchase vs lease
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3/11/2013 at 3:33:33 PM GMT
Posts: 4
Solar purchase vs lease
I  am looking to understand the basic advantages and disadvantages of leasing solar panels regarding ownership, payback periods, and maintenance  I am considering them for my home and would love to hear from the professionals.


3/12/2013 at 7:36:24 PM GMT
From my perspective there are a few main things to consider for this decision.  First how much do you want to spend out of pocket.  With a purchase you will be responsible for the full price of the install and then wait for rebates and tax credits.  With a lease the waiting is done by the leasing company.  Second is how much of the cost of maintenance do you want.  Depending on the lease, it should include the expected inverter replacement.  From what I have seen the inverters is the component that has the most problems and are expected to last around 10 years depending on the manufacture and currently cost around 5K.  So a lease can help offset that amount.   So in a lease you are buying the electricity at a set rate per Kwh, with a purchase you are buy a system that will produce an amount of Kwh.  The payback will depend on size of the system and your usage vs shading etc. At the end of the day, when my extended family was making this decision, we found that the lease made the most sense for them.  Most good PV folks can offer both with a detailed summary of which if either is a good fit for your home. Hope this is helpful,


3/19/2013 at 10:43:43 PM GMT
Advantages include, generally, no up-front costs, no maintenance costs, simply a lease payment that can match or beat your former electricity bill for the same amount of power, so no net increase in cost to you, and a more predictable utility rate. 

When leasing, you'll be signing over any rebates that the utility and municipality may provide to your leasor, Not sure how the contract may be affected if you sell your home. And, it is my understanding, that the leased equipment doesn't increase the value of your home, where owned solar generating equipment does. 

My family looks long term, and consequently we purchased our array, albeit a number of years back when the rebates were very good. It diid contribute a fair amount of value, more than its'cost in fact, to a recent appraisal of our home.


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