3 Advantages of Leasing Solar Panels
Since 2020, home solar installations have risen over 34%, saving Americans over 3.9 million kilowatts of electricity. As more people switch to solar, the options for obtaining a solar system have expanded beyond purchasing outright to include more affordable options like leasing. Leasing solar panels for residential use is an increasingly popular alternative to buying a solar system outright, and for good reasons.
1. Going Solar without Breaking the Bank
First and foremost, leasing solar panels means you don’t have to pay the upfront costs associated with purchasing a solar system. Solar panels can be expensive, with a typical residential solar system costing around $25,000 to $75,000. In fact, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) cites the lack of access to capital for upfront costs as one of the main barriers keeping many underserved households from adopting solar. While solar loans may be an option for some, homeowners with credit scores under 650 or that do not meet income requirements can still find themselves shut out of solar savings.
The government has sought to address the affordability of solar with tax credits like the Residential Clean Energy Credit. Unfortunately, homeowners are unable to take advantage of these credits if their tax liability does not match or exceed the value of the credit. With a leasing program, the solar company owns the solar energy system. As the owner of the system, companies like PosiGen, claim the tax incentive and are able to offer reasonable lease rates.
Leasing solar panels also allows homeowners to avoid this initial investment, as the cost of the system is spread out over time. Leasing options typically require little to no money down and offer low monthly payments, making solar energy affordable for homeowners who might not have been able to afford it otherwise.
2. Inclusive Maintenance and Support
Another benefit of leasing solar panels is that the leasing company is responsible for maintenance and repairs. With a solar lease, the leasing company retains ownership of the solar panels and is, therefore responsible for maintaining and repairing them if necessary. This means that if anything goes wrong with the system, the homeowner doesn't have to worry about the cost of repairs or finding a contractor to fix it. This can save homeowners anywhere from $200 up to $1300, depending on the repairs needed. Instead of finding a professional and footing the bill, leasing customers can simply contact the leasing company and have the issue resolved.
Furthermore, leasing companies like PosiGen provide savings portals where customers can see how much energy they are producing and how much they are saving on their energy costs. These costs for these portals are included in the easy, predictable monthly costs lease customers already pay.
3. Value Added Energy Efficiency Upgrades
When leasing solar panels from companies like PosiGen, homeowners can take advantage of additional savings through energy efficiency upgrades that can reduce air leaks and reduce energy costs an additional 5-30% a year. Prior to the activation of the solar panels, companies will conduct an energy audit to identify areas of a home that are causing energy and air leaks. A comprehensive energy audit includes:
- Blower Door Testing
- Thermal Imaging
- Window & Door Assessment
- Detailed Attic Evaluation
- Combustion Appliance Zone Test
Once air leaks are identified, homes can receive upgrades like air and duct sealing, energy-efficient lighting, air filter replacement, and more.
In conclusion, leasing solar panels for residential use offers many benefits over purchasing a solar system outright. Avoid the upfront costs of purchasing a solar system, enjoy the predictable payment options, have the leasing company responsible for maintenance, and provide additional app support. Furthermore, homeowners can maximize energy savings with value-added energy audits and upgrades. As solar energy continues to grow in popularity, leasing solar panels is a great way for homeowners to join the solar revolution and enjoy the many benefits of this clean and renewable energy source.