A solar lease functions like most other equipment leases. For little or no money down, the equipment is installed on your roof. A monthly payment, usually less than your current electric bill is established. An escalator factor is usually applied to the monthly payment each year, so that your payment increases year to year. The advantage used to be low, or no, up-front cost. With all the available payment plans currently offered, owning and leasing have the same initial cost—next to nothing. The drawbacks, compared to owning, are: an escalating payment, no federal rebates, and a lease that must be assumed by a potential home buyer. Compared to a zero down purchase, a lease will be roughly twice the cost.