Why Buying Solar is Better Than Leasing

The main difference between buying and leasing a solar PV system is in ownership. If you buy a solar panel system, you own the system, either outright (if purchasing with cash) or after repaying your solar loan. If you lease the system or sign a power purchase agreement (PPA), a third party owns the solar panel system.

This distinction impacts the cost, maintenance, terms, financial offsets, and savings/returns on investment of your solar panel system. Note that PPAs are not legally permitted in many areas.

The Benefits of Buying Solar

 

1. Reap Savings Immediately

One advantage of purchasing a home solar panel system up front is that you immediately begin to reap 100% of the rewards of using a sustainable, renewable solar energy. Switching to solar energy allows you to take advantage of the free power of the sun.

 

2. Sell Power Back to the Grid

If you’re producing even more solar power than you are using, you may be able to sell that power back to your local power company in a process called net metering. The terms of net metering vary by area, but it’s like having your meter run backwards as you send power back to the grid, and is yet another pro of buying solar panels for your home.

 

3. Take Advantage of Tax Credits

To fully take advantage of the current federal tax credit, you’ll need to buy your solar panels. Under the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, eligible homeowners receive 30 percent of qualified expenditures for a solar system purchase. As well, many states have tax incentives that will lower the cost of a solar panel installation even further.

 

4. Increase Your Home’s Value

Did you know that solar energy panels can add up to $15,000 to the value of your home? That’s according to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkley Laboratory. It’s a finding that’s bolstered by Fannie Mae’s guidelines specifying that appraisers should take into account solar systems when determining a house’s appraised value.

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