Should You Buy Or Lease Your Solar Panels?

The decision about how to finance your solar power system depends on your particular financial goals.

Choosing to go solar is a big step towards energy independence, and it comes with a host of benefits to you, your community, and the environment. When you’ve decided that solar is right for you, you may be wondering if it’s more advantageous to lease or purchase a solar panel system. Which is the better option? It depends on your financial goals.

The main difference between the two is if you purchase a solar panel system, you own the system, either outright or after repaying your solar loan, if you lease the system, a third party owns the solar panel system.

Market intelligence tells us that solar prospects today are leaning more heavily towards purchasing solar. According to GTM Research, In the fourth quarter of 2016, only 47% of homeowners chose to lease their solar system, versus the 72% who chose a solar panel lease in 2014. Purchasing a system tends to be the best option with greatest long term financial benefit for those who can take advantage of the federal tax credit.

Leases on the other hand have their own set of great benefits. People lease solar systems if they don’t have the capital or resources to purchase outright, if they do not have the tax appetite to take advantage of the federal tax credit, or they are looking for the lowest monthly cost/greatest day one utility savings. And in New York, you can still take advantage of the $5,000 state tax credit when you lease.

In the end, it’s all about the monetary goals you have when choosing to go solar. Every situation is different, and what is best for your property depends on a wide range of factors.

Here’s the lowdown on both options from Anthony Sicari, Owner of SunPower by New York State Solar Farm:

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