Do you wish you could install solar panels on your home? Are the upfront costs of purchasing solar panels stopping you from moving forward? If you’re like many New Yorkers, you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars in savings to put toward a residential solar array.
Fortunately, solar panels aren’t reserved just for the wealthy anymore. You can look into leasing solar panels in Orange County, NY and start saving money on your monthly utility bills – all with $0 down. Learn how this process works along with the pros and cons of leasing solar panels so you can make the wisest financing decision possible.
How does solar leasing work?
A solar lease is when your solar company owns the panels installed on your roof. Your home essentially acts as a site to produce clean energy from the sun. You pay a low monthly rate and in return, you get to use the energy the solar panels produce. The rate you pay remains the same regardless of how much energy your panels produce and how electricity rates fluctuate. The rate may increase slightly each year, but you can still expect to save money compared to paying for utility-produced electricity.
Before the panels are installed, you must agree to the terms of the lease. Read it carefully, but expect to find many of the following provisions:
- $0 down
- Agreement lasting 15 to 20 years
- Option to extend the lease, purchase the solar panels at their residual value or terminate the lease at the end of the agreement period
- Ownership responsibilities – including maintenance, repairs and replacements – rest on the solar company’s shoulders
- System performance guaranteed
- Assistance with transferring the lease agreement to homebuyers or relocating the panels to a new home if you move
Pros of Leasing Solar Panels in Orange County, NY
- Leasing saves you big time on the upfront purchase: The ability to have solar panels installed with no money down makes this a viable energy solution for many New York residents. When costs are prohibitive, or you have no equity in your home to take out a home equity loan, leasing solar panels may be the only option.
- Leasing saves you money over the long term, too: Fixed monthly costs are much easier to handle than fluctuating energy bills. You can budget more effectively when you can predict what your utility bills will be year round.
- Leasing removes ownership responsibilities: Solar panels don’t require much maintenance, but the little they do require is covered by the solar installer. Plus, if anything breaks or wears out, you can simply call your solar installer to have the component repaired or replaced at no cost to you. This gives you peace of mind when switching to solar, since you know you won’t be held responsible for upkeep.
- Leasing lets you go green without the upfront costs: Most energy-efficient technologies require a significant investment to get started, but this isn’t true with leasing solar panels in Orange County, NY. With $0 down, you can produce clean energy at home and do your part to help our country become energy independent. Now that’s a good feeling!
Cons of Leasing Solar Panels in Orange County, NY
- Buying is more economic: If long-term savings are what you’re looking for, buying your panels outright is better than leasing. When you own your panels, you owe no monthly fees to the solar installer. Plus, if you decide to purchase the panels after a 15- to 20-year lease agreement is up, you end up spending more than if you bought the panels upfront.
Of course, this logic holds true with buying a car as well. If you have the money, buying a car upfront allows you to avoid interest payments. Leasing a car or taking out a loan costs more in the long run, but gradual payments make it more affordable.
- Selling your home might be more difficult: Not everyone takes the time to research solar leases the way you have, so learning your home has leased solar panels could turn off some potential buyers. Fortunately, this isn’t always the case, and even when it is, you can always work with your solar installer to have the panels moved to your new residence.
So, is leasing right for you? If you plan to be in your home for at least 20 more years and simply want a no-hassle way to lower your utility bills while helping the environment, leasing solar panels in Orange County, NY is probably the best choice. If you’re more interested in large savings over the next 20 to 30 years, a loan or outright purchase could be a better option. Work with a solar installer to help you decide which financing option is best for you.