We explain some of the major differences between owning and leasing solar equipment.
1. Solar Electric System Cost Is at All-Time Low
Solar energy costs have stabilized at the all-time low levels. Solar electric system for your house today costs a fraction of what it used to cost just a few years ago. Yet waiting for the price to drop further may not be as rewarding as before, since the prices are not dropping (and haven't for some time now) and the government incentives are expiring soon.
2. Solar Tax Credit Is About To Go Away
Uncle Sam has been paying for 30% of the solar system cost in a form of a personal or corporate tax credit. The incentive is due to expire next year and US is expecting a gold rush with everyone trying to install a solar system the last second. That means that the pricing of solar installation is likely to be driven up, and the time to act is now before that happens.
3. Solar Electric Panels Have 25 Year Warranty
Enough said – the useful life of most solar electric panels today is well over their warranty period, which is 25 years. Solar has no moving parts, and requires little maintenance.
4. Solar Electricity Savings May Pay The Monthly Loan Payments
Thinking about financing a solar system? Specialized solar financing is available that recognizes the equity in your solar system. Application process takes minutes, and green financing companies and banks recognize the positive cash flow your solar system can create. And while financing, you still get your tax credit which in most cases can be applied towards the principal and re-amortize the loan for even lower payments.
5. Solar Panels Shade Your Roof
Something to be said about reducing the heat gain of your house or building. Studies show that the panels sit on the sunny side of the roof and greatly reduce the radiant heat that typically isn't stopped by a standard roof membrane. Solar panels are elevated from the roof, creating a shade and a nice airflow underneath.
6. Solar Panels Increase Home Equity -
In Florida and many other states, solar panels are currently appraised at roughly what the installation contract cost is, and create positive equity in your home or business! It is also important to note that the property tax on residential homes in Florida is not increased. Get your equity (and therefore home equity borrowing ability) increased without increasing the property tax! Oh, and don't forget - no sales tax on your solar system, either (make sure you are not charged one!).
7 Solar Panels Do Not Cause Roof Leaks
Contrary to common fear that was created by solar hot water panels over the last 4 decades, roof leaks in modern and code compliant solar installation systems are extremely rare. Emphasis needs to be placed on choosing the right installation company for the job. To add to that, solar panels partially block out the harmful UV rays that age the roof surface.
8. Standards and Quality Control Are Robust
Modern solar electric installations are extremely robust, with non-corrosive aluminum mounting structures, stainless steel hardware and components to match the service life of the solar panels. Paired with thoughtful and high quality installation process, you end up with a long-lasting and good-looking solar system.
9. Technology Is (And Was) Here
It seems at times that some new solar technology is announced every day. In reality, the polysilicon solar photovoltaic (PV) panels (also called mono- and poly-crystalline silicon) were here to stay since 1950's. The first solar panel is still producing electricity today, and while the efficiency has been rising, no real breakthrough was made to compete with silicon. Various thin-film, tubular, concentrated, nano-, printed, and organic solar cells could not compete with high efficiency and low manufacturing cost of standard, commercially available polysilicon technology (think Solyndra). In reality, this is what the majority of utilities and banks are investing into because it is bankable and reliable.
10. Today, it is Simple to Move Forward
Typically, a solar installer will conduct a site survey, provide the quote for the installation and the financial payback scenario. Installation labor warranties range from 1 – 5 years. Physical solar installation takes 3-5 days, while the engineering, permitting, and interconnection process is done off-site, and may take 30-45 days, or based on your installer's schedule. Going forward and enjoying solar benefits starts with a simple phone call or email to a reputable solar contracting firm.