Solar Ownership vs Solar Leases
We like this Renewable Energy World article, and think that Paula Mints makes a great point on number 5 of the top 10 solar industry things to remember in 2013. We think that the solar industry should stop labeling solar as free. Solar has a real value and give true energy control and real savings benefit overtime. So we think Paula Mints should include one more item, so we’ll call it a top 11 list!
Number 11. Solar ownership is now more financially feasible than leasing.
Over the past 10 years solar has become more mainstream and popular than ever. Solar panel manufacturers continue to ramp up production in Asia, the United States and elsewhere. More installations are going in so the economies of scale have begun to drive down prices of solar equipment down globally.
It’s always the same with technology-driven products, efficiency goes up and costs go down. The cost of solar panels has dipped from $10 per watt to $4 per watt in the span of five years, meaning it definitely makes sense to buy solar power systems instead of leasing them. Lock your energy rate at around $0.11. A typical solar lease will lock your rate at $0.17 to start. Then there are rate escalators and you forfeit the 30% solar tax credit.
Homeowners and Home builders alike see the long-term financial benefits of owning the solar system. When considering solar, homeowners should definitely look at ownership options. Owning solar the savings are significant and a purchase provides the best long-term value. With the cost of solar panels falling, purchasing a system now pencils out to 30% less than leasing it over the long term. Not to mention that solar leases are only available in certain states.
Recent reports show that the payback period of solar power systems is now as low as 4 years in some cases. Solar ownership means you take the tax credit, you pocket 100% of the savings, with free energy after as little as 4 years. A four-year payback doesn’t exist with a solar lease.