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Buying vs Leasing Solar Panels: Which Is for You?

By Tiffany Reynolds

Solar panels are an attractive option for many homeowners. Whether you are looking to lower your energy costs, reduce your carbon footprint, or both, solar power can make a significant difference. You have options, including buying vs leasing solar panels.

In this article, we will look at the pros and cons of each solar installation to help you answer two important questions:

  • Are solar panels the best option for me?
  • Should I lease or buy solar panels?

The Power Wizard Shopping Tool can analyze your current energy usage and automatically search hundreds of providers to compare electricity prices based on your usage patterns to find the best option.

Texas has its own power grid, supplied by more than a hundred suppliers. So consumers are often faced with a huge number of providers to choose from — each with its own terms and conditions. This can be confusing and overwhelming. Power Wizard looks at all of the options for you, does the analysis, and provides you with the best plans for your budget. We’ll show you how much you can save and whether you can lower the monthly cost of your electric bill.

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Buying vs Leasing Solar Panels: Which Is Better?

The most common reason homeowners switch to solar energy is to save money on their electric bills and reduce, or even eliminate, the monthly fee they pay to utility companies. So how much money can you save using clean energy?

It depends.

Every homeowner gets a different electric bill based on how much energy they use. According to the Dallas Morning News, the average cost of electricity rate in Texas is now 18.48 cents per kilowatt-hour. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that the average Texas homeowner uses 1,132 kWh per month. Based on that statistic and the current electricity rates, Texas homeowners are paying about $209 a month or $2,510 annually in electricity costs.

This means solar panels could save you $2,500 a year and help you reduce the negative impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment.

With rising energy costs, there’s even more interest in solar panels as a viable option. Electricity prices in Texas increased an average of 70% over last year, so now is a great time to research your options with Power Wizard.

You can either lease or buy solar panels, and there are pros and cons to both options. Let’s take a closer look at buying vs leasing solar panels.

What You Need to Know About Buying Solar Panels

When you buy solar panels, you may pay more upfront, but there are often financing options available. You may also qualify for rebates or tax credits.

Federal Solar Tax Credit and Other Financial Benefits

The US government provides a federal tax credit for homeowners installing solar panels. Known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), the tax incentives provide a 30% tax credit for systems installed in 2022 – 2032. It will decrease to 26% for systems installed in 2033 and to 22% for systems installed in 2034. The tax credit expires starting in 2035 unless Congress renews it. The solar tax credit is only available when you buy solar panels.

Depending on where you live in Texas, there may also be credits available for the excess power you generate above what you consume. Some local utility companies provide incentives. You may also qualify for a property tax exemption for any added value to your home.

Additionally, solar panel manufacturers may offer rebates or other financial incentives.

Easier to Sell Solar Homes

It’s generally easier to sell homes with solar panels installed. Buyers know they will be saving money every month because of lower utility bills, which makes homes with solar panels more attractive.

Higher Upfront Costs

It may be more expensive to buy solar panels vs. lease them. However, once you’ve paid for them, you’ll see savings on your electricity bills every month. According to EcoWatch, the payback time can take about eight years, although that can vary based on the cost and your usage.

Additionally, incentives, rebates, and tax credits may reduce the cost of your investment and help you enjoy the savings much sooner.

You’re Responsible for Maintenance Costs

When you own solar panels, you will be responsible for maintenance. The good thing is that solar panels don’t typically require a lot of maintenance since they have no moving parts. But you will need to routinely inspect and clean them. If a panel breaks or stops working, you will be responsible for the maintenance.

Some companies will offer solar operations and maintenance programs for a fee to cover routine maintenance and any required service.

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What You Need to Know About Leasing Panels

Leasing solar panels offers lower upfront costs and reduces maintenance worries. However, it will cost you more over the long run and may make your home harder to sell.

Low Upfront Costs for Solar Panel Installation

When you compare solar panels lease or buy options, you’ll find that leasing lets you install solar panels without a hefty payment upfront. In many cases, you can switch to solar energy with either a small down payment or no upfront costs. You can start saving money on your electric bill right away while leasing your solar panels and paying over time.

One thing to note, however, is that when you lease solar panels, you won’t own the system. As such, you will not qualify for the rebates or incentives buyers get. This means you’ll want to compare the total cost of each option to see whether solar panels lease or buy is a better choice for you.

Maintenance Costs Covered by Leasing Companies

A big advantage to leasing is that any maintenance costs will be included as part of your lease payment. While solar panels are typically low maintenance, problems can arise.

If you lease solar panels and a problem does arise, the solar leasing company will handle it for you. Homeowners with solar leases get peace of mind knowing that any significant maintenance issues will be covered.

Monthly Payments Cost More Over Time

Buying solar panels requires an upfront cost or financing, but they offer a significant return on investment (ROI). When you buy, there are no monthly fees for solar leases. And once your monthly energy savings add up to the cost of buying, everything thereafter is money in the bank.

With a lease, you keep paying every month. Depending on how your lease terms are structured, you will continue to pay your monthly fees even after the cost of the solar panels has been recouped.

Harder to Sell Your Home with a Lease Agreement

Solar panels add value to your home and can make it more attractive to homebuyers if you decide to sell. However, leasing can complicate your home sale. Sometimes lease options do not allow you to transfer the lease to a new owner, which means you might be faced with an expensive buyout. In other cases, the buyer may not want the solar panels, which would cause you to break the contract.

Choose the Best Solar Option for You

Power Wizard is here to help. We analyze your energy consumption and compare it to hundreds of available plans to find the best electricity options to save you money.

Power Wizard will do the search for you and show you the best rates and the best plans instantly. You can also enroll with our Gold VIP service and let us handle the enrollment and contract management with ongoing monitoring to make sure you are always getting the best rates available.

Contact Power Wizard today and let’s start saving on your electric bills.

Let us find you the best plan in seconds and start saving.


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