How Does a Solar Lease Actually Work?


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Written by: Contributor | Best Company Editorial Team

Last Updated: April 13th, 2020

Residential solar energy is still a relatively new to most homeowners. Although solar energy has been around for awhile, it hasn't always been cost effective as a solution to power a home. Technology advances, government grants, subsidies, energy costs, and more have made it financially feasible for homeowners to look at solar energy to run their home's electrical needs.

Residential solar systems can be expensive. Few want to front the cost of solar panels and a solar system to get their house set up to create energy. To help more home owners ease into residential solar systems, companies have relied heavily on solar leasing programs. A solar lease basically works like a loan to a consumer. A solar company will own the solar system and the home owner will make payments to the solar company. The most important aspect of this dynamic is who owns the system.

In a solar lease, the solar company owns the solar which entitles them to all of the tax breaks, subsidies, and grants. Now, this isn't to say the solar company is the evil corporation as they are taking a financial risk on the solar lease as well as changing government incentives.

Solar leases can range from fix payments to payments based on the amount of electricity that the home produces.

Starting with as little as $0 down and paying each month can be a much easier option than fronting the ~$40,000.

To see if a residential solar system is right for your home and to look at financing options, take a look at our top rated solar companies here.

The Top Solar Companies

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#1 SunPower chevron_right
9.6 Overall Score
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#2 Zenernet chevron_right
9.1 Overall Score
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#3 Solar Optimum chevron_right
9.0 Overall Score

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