People can take an uncomfortable truth, but they don't like being lied to. This axiom holds true almost universally.
As far as solar panels are concerned, consumers have a hard time understanding solar systems based on their merits. This technology is confusing enough, but once you throw in the different financing programs in the world today you have to have a high degree of trust in the vendor you are talking to.
I was reminded of the challenges associated with leasing solar panels today when I found this forum thread at solarpaneltalk.org in which a homeowner was seeking information as to their options in selling their house with a solar lease encumbrance. The would-be-purchaser thought that he had gotten hosed on his solar deal and didn't want to assume the deal. No bueno.
Have you ever leased a car and wondered what happens when you turn it in early? Two words..Accelerated Payments.
Solar leases are Solar-as-a-service products in which a national financing company basically buys a solar system and contracts a local installer to place it on your roof. In hosting your own electricity supply you are cutting out the distribution middle man and effectively reduce your cost for electricity as a result. Translation: You save money on your electric bills to the tune of 20%-30%. Solar leases generally have not maintenance requirement and have terms of 15-20 years.
Now there is nothing intrinsically wrong with a solar lease or power purchase agreement. Back when solar systems were upwards of $50,000 they provided a mechanism to be able to help homeowners get savings for something they were unlikely to be able to purchase in many states. But times are changing and solar is going mainstream.
According to EnergySage, a solar buying marketplace, homeowners who lease instead of buying solar end up foregoing a lot of the long term benefit of the solar system. (see below)
Solar Leases and PPAs are not without merit, but the deal better be good for a homeowner to give up access to his roof. In the meantime, as with any purchase these days, the information is available to empower the consumer to make the best decision for his family and future. We strongly recommend considering solar purchases financed through HELOC loans or through one of our unsecured financing partners. Solar panel systems have an operating life of over 30 years and will pay for themselves between 5-6 years depending on how they are financed.
Sunfoundry is a full service solar home improvement contracting firm servicing New Jersey and Washington DC markets. We strive to provide superior value to homeowners through the reduction of soft costs in the solar acquisition process and are committed to a best in class service proposition for our clients.
If you are considering solar for your home or business we would welcome the opportunity to provide a FREE evaluation and financial analysis for your project.
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