Own your Solar System and
Reap the Rewards!
It's more affordable than you think
Own your solar system and reap the rewards
It's affordable . . . we promise
Own or Lease/PPA?
Owning your own solar system is probably the best investment a home or business owner can make . . . returning double digit returns on their investment. The key word however is ownership! With a lease or PPA the bank gets all the rebate and tax benefits and you get a slightly reduced utility bill. A lease or PPA system will cost about three times as much as an owned system and add nothing to the value of your home since you don't own anything.
A typical solar home is worth about $20,000 more and sells faster than the same home without solar! In fact, a leased/PPA system may be a liability making it more difficult to sell your home as perspective buyers balk at assuming the lease or PPA. At RBS Solar we never recommend leasing, great deal for the banks but a terrible deal for you. Cash is king, as always, but there are many financing plans available for solar projects if you don't have cash or don't want to use it.
A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is a line of credit extended to a homeowner that uses the home as collateral. Current rates are about 4 percent and are tax deductible. The term of a HELOC can last anywhere from 1 to 10 years, at the end of which all balances must be paid in full. These types of loans are typically available through banks and credit unions. So you borrow at 4 percent and invest it in solar returning 20 percent . . . as they say "a no brainer".
The second main way to own a solar panel system is with a solar loan. Solar loans are a wonderful financing option because they allow you to go solar and own the system with no money down, and often at a lower cost than what you pay for electricity at the moment. In other words, solar loans make it so that if you can afford your monthly electricity bill, you can afford to put solar on your roof.
There are many banks, such as Mosaic, Loanpal, and Dividend, that offer loans tailored to solar projects. These banks allow you to re-amortize the loan at no cost allowing you to apply the tax credit to pay down the loan. Part of what we do is helping our customers understand their finance options and securing the best deal.
Lease - PPA
As noted above, we are not fans of leases or PPA's. Both are a method of third party ownership (TPO), where that third party owner installs solar panels at your property and then sells you the electricity produced by the solar panels at a predetermined rate.
With a lease/PPA, you’ll typically lock in a set rate for electricity for the next 25 years, about 10 to 20 percent below the rate you currently pay for electricity. Most leases and PPAs also have a built in an escalator to your payments, meaning that each year you would pay more for your solar than you did the year prior. The escalator is usually 3 percent so if the utility rate doesn't increase by that amount each year you could be paying more for your energy than if you had no solar
Because you don’t own the solar panel system in a lease/PPA set up, you won’t be eligible to receive any of the financial incentives and rebates associated with solar; rather, the company that owns the system will be. Additionally, while homes with solar sell for 3-4 percent more than similar homes without solar, that’s not always the case with a lease/PPA, since you as the owner of your home aren’t technically the owner of the solar. We have seen countless cases of home sales incumbered by these plans and excessive charges when the owner tries to get out of the contract.