Are you thinking about saving on your energy costs while also helping to save the planet by making the transition to solar power? You’re in good company.
Research shows that more than two million people or businesses have installed solar panels on their properties. And this figure is anticipated to double within the next couple of years.
The question, though, is, will you lease solar panels or buy solar panels?
The reality is, both leasing and buying offer their own unique financial benefits depending on your particular situation. Here’s a rundown on which option may be better for you in the years ahead.
Let’s jump in!
When to Buy Solar Panels
As a general rule of thumb, the majority of people would benefit from buying vs. leasing solar panels. That’s because buying will save you more money than leasing will in the long run.
The caveat, though, is that it costs about $15,000 to $20,000 to purchase your panels upfront, after you factor in solar tax credits. However, you could take out a loan to finance your panels and pay it back over a period of 20 years instead, for example.
Buying solar panels is ideal if you’re young, as you’ll have plenty of time to pay a solar panel loan back and still have many years to enjoy it without a loan.
Buying also makes sense if you own vs. rent your home, and if you feel your current utility bills are high. In fact, adding solar panels to your home can increase your property value in the years ahead.
When to Lease Solar Panels
Leasing solar panels may be a better option if you are older — for example, if you are in your 60s. That’s because leasing panels does not tie up significant amounts of money like buying does. Leasing solar panels may cost you a predictable $50 to $250 per month.
As a result, you’ll have more money on hand to cover your other daily expenses. This is especially valuable if you live on a fixed income. In addition, you’ll have more money to leave for your children or go traveling during your retirement years.
Plus, you won’t have to worry about paying large upfront costs or dealing with maintenance, repair, and insurance costs.
The downside of leasing solar, however, is that it generally doesn’t produce as much cost savings as buying does. Part of the reason for this is that you can’t take advantage of federal tax credits and local incentives.
In addition, your contract (usually a 20-year one) may increase your payment by a certain percentage each year, which could dip into your savings long term.
Take Advantage of the Power of Solar Today
Installing solar panels on your property is one of the smartest moves you can make for your finances and for the earth. But whether you choose to buy or lease solar panels will especially have a major impact on your wallet.
The great thing about leasing solar panels is that this will make solar more affordable for you. You won’t have to pay a large sum of cash upfront.
However, solar panels are also great to buy, as this will yield the biggest return on your investment.
Consider all of the above-listed benefits of buying vs. leasing solar panels as you go the sunny route in 2021 and beyond.
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