Getting solar Panels
Purchasing a solar panel system with cash, or financing a purchase with a solar loan, is your best option when you…
- Want to maximize the financial benefits of installing a solar panel system, rather than solely benefitting from the system’s environmental benefits;
- Are eligible to reduce your federal and state tax liability through the federal investment tax credit;
- Are a business, and can realize tax benefits by treating the solar panel system as a depreciable asset; and/or
- Want to increase the market value of your home by installing a solar panel system.
A solar lease/PPA is your best option when you…
- Are primarily interested in using electricity generated from renewable resources, rather than maximizing the financial benefits of installing a solar panel system;
- Want to avoid the responsibility of maintenance or repairs for a solar panel system;
- Are ineligible for federal or state investment tax credits resulting from your investment in a solar panel system; and/or
- Do not want to wait until the following year to receive the financial benefits of tax credits.
Compare and contrast: buying and leasing solar
There are practical differences in cost, maintenance, terms, opportunities for financial offsets, and savings/returns on investment, depending on the financing decision that you make.
Solar loan/cash purchase
- Solar power systems can cost $15, 000 to $30, 000 before rebates and incentives.
- Cash rebates can reduce the total cost by up to 50 percent. Most solar installers will manage the paperwork and adjust the purchase price to reflect the net amount.
- You can get a solar energy system for little or no money down.
- You don’t qualify for tax credits, rebates, or incentives – those belong to the third party owner of the system.
- You own the system and are responsible for maintaining it. Note that solar equipment is durable and carries warrantees, so you won’t have much maintenance to worry about.
- Your purchase may not include an app to track your system’s performance.
- The solar company owns and maintains the solar power system.
- Most leases include free apps that track the performance of your system.