Solar Leasing – Worry-Free Energy on the Cheap

There are now solar leasing programs that enable you to lease solar equipment, much like you would lease a car.

All eyes are on solar, as a practical homegrown wholesome source of energy that is the key to our future.

As much as the benefits of solar are clear, the new industry still faces some obvious hurdles. The largest barrier that a typical homeowner faces is the upfront cost. Although the return on investment for solar power is impressive, many people are not in a financial situation that allows them to take advantage of such an opportunity. For most families, putting food on the table is priority number one, putting energy-efficient solutions that require an initial cost on the back burner.

Good news! A number of companies have picked up on this critical barrier that many homeowners are experiencing and have come up with a solution that combines the philosophy most consumers are comfortable with: leasing. Indeed, there are now solar leasing programs that enable you to lease the solar equipment much like you would lease a car. In exchange for a monthly fee, you will be able to power your home on solar energy.

Similar to the considerations you’d make between buying a car vs. leasing, once you evaluate the pros and cons of a solar lease, you’re very likely to “drive” a solar system into your life without laying out any money. Zero!

What Exactly Is a Solar Lease?

A solar lease agreement means you can get a free design and installation of a customized solar system for your home in exchange for a monthly fee. The monthly fee is equivalent to or less then what you are currently paying LIPA for your electricity. The beauty is you no longer will need to write a check to LIPA but rather to the solar leasing company that generates your power on your roof using the sun.

What Does a Solar Lease Help You Accomplish?

  1. You are now using a renewable clean energy source instead of coal, oil, and nuclear to power your home. Solar energy reduces your carbon footprint and providesclean air for your children’s future.
  2. Your new lease agreement is set at a fixed rate. When LIPA increases its rates, you will not be affected. Your bills will be consistent and constant and you will never experience any unpleasant surprises.
  3. Depending on your agreement, the monthly solar leasing fee may be even lower than your electric bill to begin with — in some cases 15 percent lower. There’s an opportunity for even more savings!
  4. The leasing company is fully responsible for all maintenance and any necessary repairs you may incur down the road (which, honestly, are not likely), but it gives you additional peace of mind. No worries.
  5. As a lease customer you will receive guarantee in writing how much energy your solar system will produce. If the system falls short (it won’t), the leasing company will pick up the bill. This is another “peace of mind” perk that cannot be underestimated.
  6. The company will also keep a close eye on your system’s performance through the online monitoring system so both you and they can enjoy watching the sun at work and your carbon footprint diminish. If your system underperforms for whatever reason, the company will see it and be able to fix the problem right away.
  7. Moving? Again, no worries. You will have the option to buy the panels upfront and add the price to your home’s asking price, or transfer the lease to the home buyers'.

I know many of you would like to go solar in your heart, but whether it’s the financial burden that’s stopping you or the skepticism of being the first on your block to take that step, solar leasing may be just the ticket that finally gives you the courage to be a leader and physically make a difference in this world. I hope you do!

Sungevity and Solar City are the two largest companies currently in our area offering solar leasing, but many others do as well. You are always welcome to come visit me at www.ecooutfitters.net to find out the latest happenings in solar.

enza polito September 28, 2011 at 05:10 PM
In this tough economy it is refreshing to see that the industry has remained committed to a clean future. Providing a leasing option is great. Enza Polito
Ray Boggs May 08, 2013 at 10:46 PM
A solar lease is absolutely one of the worst ways to finance a solar system. First of all it is not at all cheap. In fact a $0 down solar lease can cost a homeowner up to triple the cost of buying a solar system outright. The leasing company will take your 30% federal tax credit worth thousands of dollars and they'll take any and all financial incentives including any cash rebates or SREC credits and will leave you with maybe a 15 to 20% saving on your electric bill after you factor in the lease payments. And after making 240 monthly lease payments, you won't even own the solar system. It will still belong to the leasing company. If you want to own it after making all those lease payments, you'll still have to buy it from the leasing company at fair market value. That's the law. And good luck ever selling your home with a lease attached to it. What homebuyer will want to assume your lease payents on a used, outdated solar system, when they can buy a brand new solar system for so tens of thousands less. And remember your going to be stuck with that same old solar system on your roof for the full 20 year term of your lease. No thanks. Why not get a $0 down FHA solar loan instead. You'll get to keep the 30% federal tax credit and any other financial incentives and best of all you'll get to own your practically maintenance free solar system for a much better return on your investment. Don't get fleeced by the solar leasing companies.


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