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 longer and longer lifespans.
Used or refurbished solar panels are capable of producing and maintaining high efficiency for increasingly longer durations.
On the other hand, leasing or financing solar panels still maintains incredibly high prices due to increased demand for specialized skills and a lack of education.
Most solar panels installed on residential homes are sold by door-to-door salespeople who only tell one side of the story.
Their pitch is compelling because you end up paying only a few hundred extra dollars per month, you only pay that extra price for 30 years.
Did you know that buying wholesale, new or used and installing it yourself or even hiring a contractor to install can be thousands of dollars cheaper than paying a solar company to finance or rent the panels.
Be informed before deciding to rent or buy solar panels!
Rent Vs. Buy Solar Panels
When it comes to switching to solar power, many have opted to rent solar panel systems instead of buying them.
Although leasing may seem financially attractive to new solar users, there are many long-term drawbacks you should be aware of before choosing your new solar system.
First, the financial incentives go to the owner, not you.
Although the idea of not having to pay the full up-front value of a solar power system sounds appealing at first, solar system owners are often entitled to tax deductions and other returns that the rental will not pay you.
In fact, since signing a solar lease means the owner of the system is the solar company, all of your financial incentives will go to them, even though you’re the one producing all the power.
If you own a business, you miss even more by renting, because owning solar panels allows you to realize tax advantages by listing the solar panel system as a depreciable asset.
Then you will save money in the long run.
Many believe that since you’re not paying for the entire system up front, your costs will even out.
However, over the long term, a Consumer Reports study found that the purchase saves you tens of thousands of additional dollars over a 20-year period.
After so many payments, you still don’t own the solar panels.
At the end of the lease, you will either have to return them or buy them from the solar panel company.
Another reason to buy rather than rent – renting makes it harder to sell your home.
For homes with rented solar panel systems, you will need to either buy out the lease or transfer it to the new owner.
This can deter potential buyers, as transferring the lease requires them to meet high 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 rent rather than buy, solar equipment is actually incredibly durable and backed by warranties (up to 25 years!) that will leave you worry-free in the maintenance department.
So buy, don’t rent!
Being informed is the first step in setting up a solar panel system.
Our friends at SanTan Solar, we can help you with these kinds of questions.