A solar lease contract is a financial product that allows home-owners to “rent” a complete solar system. We say home-owners, because such leases are typically no-down-payment, 15-20 year long contracts. In this case, the solar company retains ownership of the system and you pay the rent. That rent, combined with utility fees and net metering, should then be cheaper than your current annual power bill.
- No or very little down payment for a full system that would cost up to $ 30,000.
- Maintenance is usually included.
- You need to own the home for this to make sense.
- Contracts run for up to 20 years, locking you into that particular home. Selling a home with such a lease is difficult, as the new owners would have to want to take over the contract and, crucially, would have to actually qualify for the same contract.
- Since you won’t own the system, you don’t qualify for tax subsidies. The installer does.
- For the same reason, such a system doesn’t add value to your home.
- Included maintenance is often not very thorough.
Here is an article that describes the main issue when selling the house while in such a lease contract, in the UK.
In summary, if you are trying to power your home 100% from solar, you should compare such options with regular solar loans. Otherwise, consider starting with a modular CraftStrom system.