This article is more relevant than ever as the second hand solar panel market is booming. Solar panels that have been produced in the last ~10 years continue to have a longer and longer life span. Second hand used or refurbished solar panels are able to produce and maintain high output for longer and longer spans.
On the flip side, leasing or financing solar panels still maintains incredibly high prices due to higher demand for specialized skills and a lack of education. Most solar panels that are installed on residential housing are sold by door to door salesmen who are pitching only one side of the story. Their pitch is convincing because you only end up paying a few hundred extra dollars a month, you just pay that extra price for 30 years.
Did you know buying wholesale, new or used and installing yourself or even hiring a contractor to install can be thousands of dollars cheaper than paying a solar company to finance or lease the panels.
Be Informed Before You Decide to Lease or Buy Solar Panels!
Leasing Vs. Buying Solar Panels
When it comes to switching to solar energy, many have opted to lease solar panel systems instead of purchasing them. Although leasing may seem financially appealing to new solar users, there are many disadvantages in the long run that you should know about before choosing your new solar system.
First, financial incentives are going to the owner, not you.
Although the idea of not having to pay the full value upfront for a solar power system seems appealing at first, solar system owners often qualify for tax deductions and other returns that leasing won’t get you. In fact, since signing a solar lease means the owner of the system is the solar company, all your financial incentives will be going to them, even though you’re the one generating all the power.
If you own a business, you’re missing out even more by leasing since solar panel ownership allows you to realize tax benefits by listing the solar panel system as a depreciable asset.
Next, you’ll save money long-term.
Many believe that since you aren’t paying for the whole system upfront, your costs will even out. However, in the long run, a Consumer Reports study found that purchasing saves you tens of thousands more over a 20 year period.
After so many payments, you still don’t own the solar panels. At the end of the lease, you’ll have to either return them or purchase them from the solar panel company.
Another reason to buy instead of leasing – leasing makes it harder to sell your house.
For homes equipped with leased solar panel systems, you will need to either buyout the lease or transfer it over to the new property owner. This can sway potential buyers away since transferring the lease requires they must meet hefty credit requirements in order to prove their ability to continue making payments.
Finally, maintenance won’t break the bank.
Although leasing companies advertise their solar panel maintenance services as a reason to lease instead of purchase, solar equipment is actually incredibly durable and backed up by warranties (up to 25 years!) that’ll leave you worry-free in the maintenance department.
So buy, don’t lease!
Being informed is the first step in setting up a solar panel system. Here at SanTan Solar, we can help you with these types of questions (visit our FAQ page!) and help you set up a system that works best for you. Click here to see what products we have available!
About The Author
Yesenia Torres is an Entrepreneurship & Marketing student from Arizona with a love for everything creative. From graphic design and painting to consulting and marketing, she enjoys blending business with creativity and innovating creative solutions to real world problems.