Why Avoiding a Lease Keeps Money in Your Pocket
You’ve made the decision as an environmentally responsible home or business owner to put solar energy to work for you and use clean energy to not only lower your carbon impact, but save significantly on monthly utility bills. All the research is done and now you are faced with a decision of buying the solar equipment or take on a leasing option.
Glitzy ads and promises of no up front costs make leasing a tempting option but beware, nothing is free and leasing brings baggage. While it may appear at first that you are benefitting from a lease package, reality hits down the road when payments inflate and those monthly cost savings you were looking forward to, have all but disappeared.
Payment escalators start to kick in on a monthly basis typically within the first 90 days of the lease. These are designed to aggressively return money back to the leasing company and while you may have enjoyed some “savings” up front, on the equipment, installation, and your bills, once the escalators go into effect, those savings begin to dwindle.
Over time, the payment escalators increase and often knock out any savings you realized at the outset of the lease. Other methods employed by the finance companies can involve balloon payments and begin to make your solar lease look more like a mortgage or an out of control credit card.
It should be understood up front that finance companies are not sharing your vision of being sensitive to the environment and looking to save on utility bills. They are laying out cash and resources and need to recoup their money quickly so they can finance the next lease.
They will aggressively pursue their money and the only one paying for it is you!
Leasing vs. Investment
As with any purchase, a personal investment up front and over time keeps control in the buyer’s hands. All of these costs can be offset by being educated about local, state, and federal programs designed to help you invest in solar equipment and have it treated as an asset on your home or business. This becomes critical on several levels but in the event you were to sell your home for instance, a lease could complicate this process while the investment would in all likelihood make it easier.
High rated companies like East/West Solar have teams of professionals trained to find incentives and programs making a solar transition as inexpensive and easy as possible. Programs available in your city, from the state and even the federal government are available and in many cases ease up front costs while also offering incentives on taxes. Combine these programs with monthly utility savings and you can see why most educated solar consumers opt to buy rather than carry the burden of lease.
Keeping your solar transition as an investment rather than paying off a monthly financial drain is seen as the best overall option for the vast majority of those going solar. By letting your solar installation company educate you on what is available financially for your install, they will handle any application processes, find out where you qualify, and begin the process of monthly savings immediately.
The bottom line is to keep money in your pocket. It is one of the primary benefits of using solar energy to begin with. By attaching a lease to that noble prospect, the results are typically less than stellar and only add another monthly headache.