The Truth About Solar Leasing

Is leasing a solar power system a good idea?  The opportunity to get solar power for your home without any money down is tempting but in the long run is it really worth it?  Is renting a solar system truly the best way to use solar power as an investment?  Of course, anyone selling their products and services is going to have a bias, but there is one thing that does not lie ~ numbers…

Well, we’ve done the math for you and the shocking truth is that you could end up spending tens of thousands of dollars more by renting your solar system instead of purchasing it.

Solar-Lease-Scam

Let me say that again, renting solar could end up costing you TENS OF THOUSANDS more when compared to purchasing solar.  That’s like 3 to 4 zero’s behind your favorite single digit number…and a comma!  Now, we’ve all heard the ads ~ “Go solar with no money down and all of your wildest dreams will come true…” But what does “no money down” really mean?  Here’s how a typical solar lease program works:

  • You sign a contract to have panels installed on your roof
  • The leasing company buys the panels, installs them, and start generating electricity, selling it back to you
  • Since you don’t own the panels, you don’t get the government rebates or utility incentive
  • You save a little money on your electric bill, but those savings stay the same since your monthly bill increases every year along with the rates of your utility company

Now, since my background is in Finance, I listened very closely to the financial terms and conditions.  Here’s what I found out ~ on average (the 4 companies with solar leasing programs I spoke to) you are looking at the following terms on a 5040 watt PV system:

  • Monthly Payment – Starts at $70 per month (on approved credit)
  • Rate Increase – 3.5% per year
  • Contract Length – 20 years

Here’s what that payment schedule looks like in simple terms

Solar-Lease

When you buy your solar power system, you will spend between $5,000 and $10,000 depending on a few different things.  Why pay 500% more just to rent it?  Give me one good reason.

A long time ago I learned a good lesson that nothing in this world is free.  Even the air you breathe has a cost associated with it, somehow, someway.  If you are considering a solar leasing program, here are some things that you should consider:

  • Have you ever leased a car and if so, was it a good experience when that lease was finished?  (most people end up with a couple thousand dollars in fees)
  • Is long term financial stability and “Net Worth” important to you? (if so, leasing is not a good option)
  • Does it make sense to you to pay as much as 5 times more for something when the benefits to you are relatively equal?

If you would like to learn a little more about how you could get a solar power system for your home, with no money down and own the system instead of renting it, you should start by downloading the 7 Secret Tips to Going Solar.  Solar leasing makes sense for utility scale solar (really really big solar systems) but if you are a homeowner, you’ll be getting ripped off.  Thanks for reading.

7 Secret Tips to Going Solar

11 Responses to The Truth About Solar Leasing
  1. [...] by mfinchem Eco Energies calls out the industry -and rightly so- with their article found at  http://www.echoenergies.com/energy-independence/truth-about-solar-leasing/?gclid=CPnc9MDP_aICFQ5Iago… .  In addition to cost there are a number of issues that become problematic when you don’t [...]

  2. Lexus GS
    July 24, 2010 | 11:48 pm

    Being a blawger is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

    Sent from my iPhone 4G

  3. [...] run, you’ll make out like a bandit instead of ending up as the chump who gets hard-sold into something ridiculous like a leased solar system.  Thousands have used our resource to help them get on the path to energy independence.  If [...]

  4. weight loss calculator
    September 14, 2010 | 4:30 am

    trying to follow you on twitter but cant find your name

  5. terry discoe
    September 15, 2010 | 10:27 am

    where do you find a comparison of solar companies without looking them up individually?

  6. weight
    September 19, 2010 | 12:36 pm

    hi again

    Sky

  7. Gordy
    September 30, 2010 | 9:46 am

    This is me getting ripped off: http://gordy.org/blog/2010/03/138/

  8. blake
    October 3, 2010 | 9:10 pm

    Very interesting Gordy. I noticed that you are set up on a Sun Run program. Can’t wait to see the update in the next couple of days. It looks like you’ll eventually hit a break even point but arguably around the same time if you would have purchased the system right?

    Thank you for sharing your experience. The cockroaches need a little light shined on them…

  9. Natalia Of Homemade Solar Panels
    December 12, 2010 | 6:12 am

    Solar powered energy systems has really come to some extent of its growth where it power a lot of equipments, from powering your entire house right down to small consumer electronics accessories. It truly is interesting to find out that people have additional limitless generator of electrical power and it’s clean compare to the standard means of generating electricity. We can expect more on this in the future years and even expect a lot countries to compliment individuals who are taking advantage of the solar power advances. I’m one of those who find themselves ready to utilize the free energy changed into usable electricty for home which power the home devices, water heating and right down to chargers for mobile computers, ipods, audio players and many more.

  10. Katherine Comer
    December 14, 2010 | 11:05 am

    I think other website owners should take this site as an model, very clean and fantastic user genial pattern .

  11. Florence Ogles
    December 21, 2010 | 9:33 pm

    Oooh, you’re such an inspiration. I love this blog!

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