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Solar Leasing

Solar leasing–sometimes called ‘rent-to-own solar’–is an agreement whereby your solar system is supplied and installed with no upfront costs. It is then paid off in fixed monthly repayments. The key difference between this and a loan is that when you lease your solar panels, you don’t actually  own them until they’re fully paid off. You will however be required to pay  the outstanding balance and take ownership of your solar if you decide to  move house as panels can’t easily be removed and reused.

Solar leasing is often marketed as having low monthly repayments which are less than the savings you’d make with solar. It’s an appealing proposition, but customers should be wary of the interest rate. Solar leases  sometimes have comparably high interest rates which can hurt your hip-pocket long term.

Most ideal for: Large, commercial solar systems where the savings will easily outweigh the accrued interest costs over the life of the system.

Power Purchase Agreements

Under a solar power purchase arrangement (solar PPA), an operator installs panels on your roof for free. In return, the operator retains ownership of the panels and you agree to buy the solar power produced from these panels at a rate less than what you’d pay from the grid.  For example, an operator could charge you 18c/kWh for the solar power while the grid price for electricity could be 28c/kWh.

Solar PPA’s generated a lot of excitement when they first popped up, however a number of critical issues with this setup have been found since then. The biggest issue is that PPA’s only work if you can use or store all the solar power generated by the panels. If solar power is not used immediately then it’s fed into the electricity grid in exchange for a feed-in-tariff. If you’ve paid 18c/kWh for that solar power, but receive a lower feed-in tariff, say 10c/kWh, then you’re essentially 8c/kWh out of pocket for nothing.

Most ideal for: Large, commercial solar systems where savings will easily outweigh accrued interest costs over the life of the system.

What’s the best way to finance Solar?

The best way to finance Solar will depend on your personal situation. For more information please contact us.

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