There is no denying that the solar power trend is not going away anytime soon. In fact, many people believe that this will be the energy source of every home in America in a few decades. The two forces driving this trend are the rising prices in energy and the move towards a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Both reasons have encouraged companies to delve into developing the solar panel technology more and how it can be scaled so homeowners can afford them. That’s by today most of them cost a third of what they used to.
Solar panels are not just the socially-conscious choice, but now, it’s also the more practical choice. Renewable energy is the alternative that allows so many homeowners to do away with their electric bills, and more Americans realize this benefit. In a research held from 2009 to 2013, the amount of accumulated solar power generated in the country has grown nine times. Researchers believe that trend will continue. A lot of homeowners agree that switching to solar is a smart idea, and maybe you do too. The usual point of contention is whether to get one or not. It’s how to get it. Should you but your solar panels or lease from a third party? We’ll be showing you the pros and cons from each side, and we’ll weigh which option is comprehensively better than the other. Hopefully, that helps you figure out how to best get your home those solar panels.
Ownership versus Leasing
According to research, 66% of homeowners opt for solar leasing instead of purchase, which means it’s a more popular way to get solar panels on people’s roofs. For a lot of homeowners, solar leasing is a less intimidating option, especially if this is your first time trying alternative means to power your home. Solar ownership seems too much of commitment. The logic is similar to renting your first space as opposed to buying one even if you could afford it and it does save you more money. Leasing is like training wheels, which is great. At least you get to
switch and get accustomed to solar before you make a big purchase. Just make sure you’re okay with the trade off that a solar leasing company is earning from what you should be saving.
The spiel of every Nj solar company which tries to get clients to lease panels is simple: it is a cheaper alternative to paying bills. Selling the truth is easy. Homeowners can save 15% to 30% on power bills by leasing solar panels. In some cases, homeowners are not even asked to pay upfront, and their monthly bills from the solar company are significantly lesser than paying for power from the utility company.
This lease often lasts 20 years and comes with the assurance of monitoring and maintenance. Upon installation or signing of the contract, you’d be briefed as to how they will handle the upkeep and then leave you with contact numbers you can reach in case of problems. This where they highlight their unique selling proposition. Solar power is service. As a homeowner, you may not want to fuss about the product as much as just getting what you want out of, which is power.
Now that you have an idea why leasing is a good idea let’s flip the coin, and look at what you should be wary of. The most obvious disadvantage is the amount you’ll be saving. It’s far too modest in comparison to what you will save if you own the panels. That includes the scenario where you loan the payment for the panels. Most of these lease contracts have escalator clauses written in them. That justifies raising your bill by a couple of percentages higher than the previous year.
In a few years, what you’re paying monthly will not be far from your bills before you switched to solar panels. Another important disadvantage to consider is control. Because you’re leasing, the company has more control as to how much your home needs and where to put them. These things you have to check on your lease contract and assert once the company tries something else, which they sometimes do. In some cases, they place the panels in the most unappealing and unstrategic of places. If you’re thinking of selling a home a few years down the line, this messes with the curbside value. Selling your home is also another issue because those panels will not come to your new home.
You will either have to pay the solar leasing company for the remaining years you should be leasing it, or you’re compelled to convince the new homeowner to take over your leaser. On rare occasions, a solar company could agree to move the panels, but it’s often for a price anyway. Those are a lot of hidden charges for unforeseeable events that do happen a lot to homeowners. That way the customer is getting practically free solar power.
Why is ownership the better option?
Because we’ve already discussed a lot of the disadvantages of just leasing as opposed to buying, this part of the article will just comprehensively discuss the benefits of owning your solar panels. The overwhelming advantage you’ll be getting is the amount the savings you’ll compound. That’s around 70%, in some cases even a hundred, after tax. Those numbers depend on the particulars of your panel set up, but generally, these panels return investment after 5 to 7 years. If you don’t have the cash to pay, you can try a home equity loan or solar loan. Either is still giving you almost double the savings as opposed to leasing.
Apart from the savings, which any expert will assure you is significantly higher is you buy your solar panels, this option allows you more control over how many panels you want to put up, when you want them changed and how you want them placed. You can take them when you move or if you want to sell them for new ones. These panels are yours, and you can do with them whatever you please – no hidden charges, no specifics dictated by solar companies and the savings you make are all up to you.