Should I Buy or Lease a Solar System?

You’ve decided to go solar. Your decision will help save the planet 75 million barrels of oil and 35 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, a major step in helping to reduce the impact climate change will have on our great-great-grandchildren. Now it’s time to consider whether to buy or lease your system.

The main distinction between buying and leasing a solar PV system is in ownership. If you buy a solar panel system, you own the system either outright (if purchasing with cash) or after repaying your solar loan. If you lease the system or sign a power purchase agreement (PPA), a third party owns the solar panel system. This differentiation impacts the cost, maintenance, terms, financial offsets and savings/returns on investment of your solar panel system.

Purchasing a system with cash, or financing a purchase with a solar loan, is your best option when you want to maximize the financial benefits such as federal tax credits. Ownership of system also increases the market value of your home and is fully transferable. A study conducted at the Berkeley Lab by the Electricity Markets and Policy Group found that home values increase by $4.51 per watt when using solar energy. For an average sized 10 kilowatt solar system, that is a property value increase of $45,100.

A solar lease is the favored option when you are ineligible to collect those federal tax credits. Customers that choose to lease can expect to pay zero money down out of pocket to have a solar system installed. For some, the immediate savings from a lease program is more favorable for their situation.

When evaluating what is best for you, it is important to work with solar companies that have your best interests in mind. Some solar companies offer only one program, while others offer both options and will propose one or the other based on your current economic situation. The best choice for your neighbor may not always be the best choice for you. Do your homework and explore your options when deciding to go solar for your home or business.

Harvest Power Solar lets you buy or lease a solar system. If you’re ready to harvest the sun and reap the rewards, visit