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 solar 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. Note that PPAs are not legally permitted in many areas.
This video reviews the benefits of buying and leasing solar panels.
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.
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 registering your property on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, you can view side-by-side quote comparisons and access a network of pre-screened solar installers. 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.
Enter your zip code to find out what typical solar installations cost in your neighborhood.