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Buying vs. Renting Solar Panels: What’s the Difference?
December 30, 2022 at 8:00 AM
Worker installing solar panels on a roof

Installing solar panels on your home is a significant investment. Purchasing solar panels outright comes with a high sticker price that may give you second thousands. But there is another option available — renting solar panels. This allows you to switch to solar energy without the significant upfront investment required to purchase them.

The primary commonality between buying and renting solar panels is that you can experience solar savings either way and reduce your environmental impact. Here’s everything you need to know about buying vs. leasing solar panels.

Buying solar panels

When you buy solar panels from a reputable company like Solar-Verse, there may or may not be a payment plan option available. However, federal or state tax credits are often available to those who purchase solar panels based on the state or the manufacturer’s reimbursements.

Ways to pay for solar panels

There are various ways you can pay for solar panels upfront. These include:

  • Cash. Buying solar panels upfront with cash can drain your savings. However, it is the lowest-cost way to purchase and benefit from solar panels on your home. The reason why is that you will not accrue any interest on solar panel payments. Instead, you can begin saving money on monthly utility bills.
  • Home equity loan. If you decide to finance your solar panels, consider getting a home equity loan (HELOC) with a low-interest rate. These loans typically let you work out the terms and conditions with the lender. However, you have to have equity in your home to qualify for one.
  • Solar loan. You may be eligible for a solar loan to help finance the purchase of your solar panels. As with any loan, you’ll be charged interest over the loan term but may still be eligible for rebates and incentives.

Renting solar panels

Renting or leasing solar panels can make the switch to solar energy more attainable for those who do not have the cash upfront. However, the significant difference between buying and leasing solar panels is that you do not own them. Instead, a third party owns the equipment.

Leasing solar panel costs

Research shows that renting solar panels costs between $50 and $250 per month. Your overall costs will be determined by how much energy you use, the company, your location, and your credit score. In addition, some companies require a down payment, while others allow you to rent solar panels with a $0-down agreement.

What you gain by leasing solar panels

  • Little to no upfront costs. Depending on the terms of your lease, you could rent solar panels for little to no money down. And while you will make payments throughout your lease, you will save money on your utility bill.
  • Avoid maintenance costs. If you lease your solar panels, the company you rent from is responsible for any problems.

What you can lose by leasing

  • Ineligible for rebates. Renting solar panels ensures you do not qualify for government or private rebates or incentives for solar panels. Depending on where you live, the rebates and incentives offered may be significant enough to purchase them outright a better option.
  • Your home can be hard to sell. While solar panels add value to your home, leasing them can complicate the real estate transaction. You may have to pay to break the contract if the solar panels cannot be removed or the lease cannot be transferred.

Schedule a free consultation

So, are solar panels worth it? At Solar-Verse, we believe they are. You can learn more about making the switch to solar by getting in touch with our team to schedule a free consultation. We’ll perform an evaluation and propose the best solar layout for your home. Give us a call at 443-455-0313 or send a message using our contact form today.