Leasing Solar Panels (PPA) Vs. Owning Solar Panels:

The main difference between buying and leasing a solar system is ownership. If you buy a solar panel system, you own the system, either outright (if purchasing with cash) or by financing the investment with a loan. If you lease the system or sign a power purchase agreement (PPA), a third party owns the solar panel system and you are not entitled to incentives & tax credits. Leasing solar panels is not a good idea, it is far more advantageous to buy and own your solar panels.

Below are some fast facts on both options.

Owning Solar Panels:

  • Increase home value 20% According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
  • Ensure your system has the best solar panels available.
  • Receive lucrative state and federal tax credits.
  • Receive NYSERDA solar grants which lower the cost of your solar panels.
  • Property tax increase exemption for 15 years.
  • The best way to save the most money on electricity cost.
  • 25 year warranty covers solar panels and inverters, the most expensive components of the solar energy system.
  • Loans available as low as 3.49% APR allows you to save money from day 1 and own your solar panels.

Solar Panel Lease Or PPA:

  • The solar company owns the solar panels for a period of 20 or more years and sells you the power it creates, only allowing you to purchase the system after 20 years at an undisclosed price.
  • Studies show it lowers home value by 10% as prospective buyers must be qualified for your 20 year lease or PPA.
  • You are required to purchase the power generated by the solar panels, even if you move or take a vacation.
  • If roof repairs are required, you’re obliged to pay the energy company to remove and reinstall the solar panels, as well as any power your panels would have created.
  • The amount you are charged escalates, with an average annual increase of 3-5% APR per year.
  • Home appliances and lighting are becoming more energy efficient and it is likely that years from now you will be required to purchase power from your solar panels that you will not even need.

“Why lease inferior solar panels and let a big corporation own my roof for 20+ years when I can OWN my solar panels and reap all of the incentives & financial benefits?”

Consumer Reports Lease vs Buy Solar