Leasing Solar Panels in NY: Q&A

Solar energy is the fastest growing clean energy resource in the United States. Solar accounted for 40% of all new electricity generating installations in the first half of 2015, with wind coming in second at 35%. Between January and June 2015, 784,000 homes and businesses had converted to solar. This means a new solar project was installed every two minutes!

Are you ready to join the ranks of Orange County homeowners with solar-powered homes? It’s an exciting prospect, but how will you fund the investment? You have a few options, one of which is leasing solar panels in NY. Is this the best financing option for you? Learn the answers to your most pressing questions to help you decide.

How long does a solar lease last?

Leases normally last 20 years. However, the warranty on your solar panels lasts longer than this, so 20 years is by no means the lifespan of a solar array. In fact, most solar panels are designed to last 30 to 40 years or even longer, depending on the brand.

When happens when the lease ends?

At the conclusion of the 20-year lease, you have three options:

  • You can renew the solar lease if the agreement is working well for you.
  • You can purchase the solar array for its residual value.
  • You can terminate the lease and have the solar panels removed at no cost to you.

When is leasing solar panels in NY better than buying?

While an upfront purchase has its benefits – including greater savings over the long-term and the satisfaction of ownership – leasing solar panels in NY could be the better option if you’re looking for these benefits:

  • $0 down: When you lease, you have the opportunity to start saving with solar from day one, no down payment required. Lease payments are fixed and reasonable, regardless of fluctuating electricity rates and energy production from your solar panels. Best of all, monthly lease payments are typically lower than what you once paid for electricity.
  • No ownership responsibilities: Leasing solar panels means your home is simply a solar electricity production site. The installer retains ownership of the panels and all the responsibilities associated with them, including taking care of maintenance and repairs. In the rare event that something goes wrong with your solar panels, you can expect timely repairs at no cost to you.
  • Immunity from rising energy costs: The price of everything is going up these days, including energy. When you’re paying fixed lease payments instead of fluctuating energy bills, you can sit back and smile to yourself, knowing you’re immune to the whims of rising rates.

In the end, leasing is probably the right financing choice for you if you want a hassle-free way to lower your utility bills and feel good about doing your part for the environment.

What does solar panel maintenance entail?

Since solar panels lack moving parts, maintenance requirements are minimal. Typically all that’s needed is a periodic hose down to remove stuck on dirt and debris. This keeps the panels working at their peak. By leasing solar panels in NY, you leave this responsibility in the hands of the solar panel company. That way, you’re not left with the task of climbing onto your roof to hose down your solar panels.

How do I pick the best solar leasing option?

Leasing solar panels in NY essentially means trading the utility company for a solar company. You may still have small bills to pay your utility, but your monthly energy bills will largely be replaced by more affordable lease payments to your solar company. To make sure you enter an agreement you can be happy with, compare different solar companies. Choose one with:

  • A strong reputation in the solar business.
  • Thousands of installations under their belt.
  • The option to start leasing solar panels in NY for $0 down.
  • Affordable, predictable monthly payments.
  • A reasonable cancellation clause.

What happens if I move in the middle of the lease?

Life can be unpredictable. If you end up moving before the lease ends, you have three options:

  • You can assign the lease to the new homeowner, who takes over payments and enjoys the resulting lower energy bills.
  • You can take the solar panels with you, depending on where you move, and keep the lease going from the new location.
  • You can purchase the solar array for its residual value if you’ve been leasing solar panels in NY for more than five years. Then you can include the value of the solar panels in the sale of your home. In some instances, your property value may increase by 20 times the amount you save in electricity bills annually. This means if you’re saving $800 per year, you can increase your asking price by $16,000 thanks to the addition of solar panels.

What if I need to break my solar lease?

If circumstances beyond your control cause you to break your lease, you could be subject to a cancellation fee. This fee covers the cost of removing and storing your solar panels. The longer you have your lease, the lower the cancellation fee is if you must withdraw from the agreement.

What condition will my roof be in if I choose to have the solar panels removed?

Don’t worry; installing solar panels doesn’t damage your roof. In fact, while they’re installed, they help protect your roof from hail and wind damage. If you break your lease early or decide to terminate the lease at the end of the agreement period, the solar panels are removed.

Most of the time, the installation doesn’t require penetration of the roofing material. If the roof surface does need to be modified with screw holes, the solar panel company should fill and patch the roof to achieve pre-installation condition. Find out about your installer’s policies on this matter before you sign the lease.

What’s the catch?

Does it sound too good to be true? Don’t worry – there’s no catch! Your solar installer will give you the chance to thoroughly go over every detail of your contract before you sign. You won’t be caught off guard by hidden fees or penalties if you understand your contract before you enter the agreement.

If leasing solar panels in NY sounds like the perfect way to do your part for environment with very little effort on your part, don’t delay! Speak with an installer in Orange County today to get started.

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