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Should You Buy or Lease Your Solar Panels?


The decision about how to finance your solar power system depends on your particular financial goals


The main practical distinction between buying and leasing a solar PV system is in ownership. If you buy a solar panel system, you own the system, either outright (if purchasing with cash) or after repaying your loan. If you lease the system or sign a power purchase agreement (PPA), a third party owns the solar panel system.


This distinction impacts the cost, maintenance, terms, financial offsets, and savings/returns on investment of your solar panel system. In addition, not all companies offer solar leases and/or PPAs—confirm that your chosen provider offers the financing option that you want most.


Purchasing a solar panel system with cash, or financing a purchase with a solar loan, is your best option when you…


  • Want to maximize the financial benefits of installing a solar panel system, rather than solely benefiting from the system’s environmental benefits;

  • Are a business, and can realize benefits by treating the solar panel system as a depreciable asset; and/or

  • Want to increase the market value of your home by installing a solar panel system.


A solar lease/PPA is your best option when you…

  • Are primarily interested in using electricity generated from renewable resources, rather than maximizing the financial benefits of installing a solar panel system; and/or

  • Want to avoid the responsibility of maintenance or repairs for a solar panel system.


Compare and contrast: buying and leasing solar


There are practical differences in cost, maintenance, terms, opportunities for financial offsets, and savings/returns on investment, depending on the financing decision that you make.


Compare your financing options before deciding to buy or lease your solar power system


Before you make a decision on buying or leasing your solar power system, explore all of the solar financing options available to you. Every situation is different, and what is best for your property depends on a wide range of factors. By contacting Solar Era, you can get a BEST Quote. This “one-stop shop” provides you with all the information you need to understand the relative costs and benefits of buying versus leasing your solar power system.

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