Owning a home or business comes with many difficult decisions. Determining whether to install solar panels on your property is only the beginning – you also have to decide if you’re going to lease or buy them. This choice isn’t always clear-cut, so it requires a bit of research and consideration. It’s definitely something you don’t want to rush into without complete understanding. So before you sign a leasing contract with a solar company in California, read this quick overview.
Leasing vs Owning Solar
You’ll come across quite a few solar companies that will try and sell you on the idea of leasing their solar panels. This is because it benefits them more than it benefits you. When customers lease solar panels, they pay the solar companies forever, or until they return the system. You will never own your solar panels, which means you will always have a bill.
Owning solar panels can be achieved by either purchasing outright or financing the system. Either way, you are investing in your financial future. The great thing about financing is that there’s a maturity date – once you finish paying them off, they’re yours forever.
The Benefits of Owning Solar Panels
There are many benefits associated with purchasing solar panels. Besides the obvious – you getting to own your system and reap the savings forever – you also get other perks. For one, you can get a 30 percent tax cut when you install solar panels that you have purchased. This isn’t available when you lease. So if you purchased the solar panels from a company in Los Angeles for $20,000, you can get a tax credit of $6,000. This can be useful for offsetting whatever money you owe to the IRS at the end of the year.
If you’ve shopped around and found the best solar panels for your home or business, but don’t have the cash to pay them off upfront, you can find solar companies that offer financing. If your credit is good, you can get deals like $0 down and 0% APR for five years. If you’re able to pay off the system within those five years, then you save even more. There are also contracts that don’t penalize you if you pay off your loan quicker.
Why You Should Reconsider Leasing Solar Panels
The first thing you should understand is that installing solar panels on a property is a long-term commitment, whether you decide to lease or buy them. With that said, leasing solar panels over the course of 20 years is throwing money down the drain. By this time, you could have owned your solar panels and been reaping even more savings.
Think of solar panels like a 401K – you invest in it while you’re young and able, so that by the time you retire, you can enjoy your investment. Keep in mind that during your working years, you spend less time at home, which means less energy being consumed. Once you retire, you will be home more often, which will spike up your energy bill. If you already invested in a solar panel system and paid it off, you won’t have to worry about this, especially if it offsets 100 percent of your utility bill.
Things to Do Before You Buy Solar
Once you decide to contact a solar company in Los Angeles, there are some things you need to do, such as:
- Determine how much energy you want to offset
- Calculate how many solar panels you will need
- Identify whether or not you can afford your goal
Decide if you should start off with fewer solar panels, then work your way up
Don’t fret if you can’t reach your goals right away. Becoming energy sufficient is a long-term plan, so develop a strategy that will allow you to eventually reach your goals. And even more important – find a solar company that will help you do so.