The decision to lease vs. purchase depends on your finances and your long-term goals—whether you are primarily motivated to maximize financial benefits or to reduce your emissions. According to Energy Sage, the main practical difference between leasing and buying is 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 (P.P.A.), a third party owns the solar panel system. This distinction impacts the cost, maintenance, terms, financial offsets, and savings/returns on the investment of your solar panel system. In addition, not all companies offer solar leases and/or P.P.A.s—confirm that your chosen provider offers the financing option that you want. You can also use the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's Ultimate Solar Calculator to compare buying vs. leasing.
Yes, but only if it's "owned" by the building owner. Leases are not considered property to be included with the sale. See the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Guidelines.
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The cost of a solar installation depends on multiple factors: 1) how do you plan to finance the installation—cash, loan, or lease; 2) how much electricity do you consume; 3) the size of the installation, and 4) what incentives are available to you. In recent years, the cost of solar power has dropped significantly (73% since 2006!), largely due to federal and state incentives. That being said, solar installations can involve a sizable upfront financial commitment. On average, the cost of solar installations ranges from $15k to $29k for a system sized between 4kW and 8kW (the average size of a residential solar system in the U.S. is 5 kW). This will include the cost of all components - solar panels, panel mounts, inverters - and labor associated with installation. Typical payback periods, or the amount of time required to recover your cash outlay, range from 4 to 10 years. To learn more, contact us today.
The value must be determined by an Appraiser of appropriate certifications and experience.
A common reason to install solar is to reduce your electricity bill. As with up-front costs, how much will you save each month will depend on how much electricity you use and the size of your installation. Still, most can expect to see a significant decrease in your electricity bill. Homeowners and businesses across the company can save as much as $30,000 over their solar panels’ lifespan.
This depends on whether your solar system is connected to the grid. If it is, as in most cases, your system will shut down to protect your electric provider’s linemen, on the other hand, if your home is off-grid, you will not be impacted if the power grid is compromised.
Yes, in most cases, it can. It is considered tangible property, along with the structure.
Yes, the same as the structure or any other asset you may secure under a loan.
Numerous options exist on how to finance a solar system. The most common options are purchase, lease, or use of a power purchase agreement (P.P.A.).
Benefits are several: 1) lower your utility bills, 2) increased property value, 3) tax credits, 4) accelerated depreciation under the I.R.S. “M.A.C.R.S.” program. The cost of solar energy stays constant.
Net-zero is synonymous with zero-energy consumption, meaning that the home’s system requires less energy than it produces. When a home is net-zero, excess produced electricity is fed into the grid.
P.V. stands for photovoltaics, which can literally be translated as light-electricity. This term has two parts: the first derived from the Greek word for light (photo) and the second in homage to the electricity pioneer Alessandro Volta (volt).
More than 25 years of studies and research have proven homes with solar panels generally sell from 4% to 50% faster and for a premium of $2 to $4 per installed watt than non-solar homes. The value of the solar panels is based in part on their original price and the amount of energy produced annually. This has a net effect of reducing the electrical utility bill year-round, which in turn adds value to a home – the same as if the improvements were in energy efficiency aspects. In rare instances, the solar panels were a “neutral,” not aiding nor hindering the sale. In none of the thousands of sales were owned solar panels a negative. The same cannot be said of leased solar panels. In those cases, leased or third-party-owned systems on a residence where the homeowner has a contract (often long-term), buyers were wary and often walked away.
Almost all panels are guaranteed to last between 25 and 30 years, and some are able to produce electricity for much longer! Properly installed solar panels should require little maintenance, making for an excellent return on investment. Inverters (converting D.C. current to A.C. current) are now estimated to last 20 years or longer. Even then, they typically do not just quit; they gradually become less efficient.

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