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cheech

Solar panel leasing costs

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If the panel leasing costs are $50-$250 per month, how does one get any savings or return on their money? Some cooler months our entire bill is less than $50.

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38 mins ago, cheech said:

If the panel leasing costs are $50-$250 per month, how does one get any savings or return on their money? Some cooler months our entire bill is less than $50.

Your savings are when they are paid off in twenty years. Or if you buy the panels yourself and install them yourself. 

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Some people put on solar to be more "green" vs just the cost savings.  Also-  if you have very low consumption, there may be months where the power company is buying back excess power-  I think the leasing companies get most of that benefit.   I've got an acquaintance that installs solar panels.  The last I spoke to him the price of the panels has dropped down where the ROI if you actually buy the panels can be around 6 years-  there's lots of factors - that's just a round number he had.  If you are serious about this, you'll want to get someone to run all the numbers.  Interest rates, tax rebates, the types of equipment,  local energy costs, where the panels will be placed ( geography, direction /angle of roof, etc) and other factors drive the return on solar.  Thankfully it's a mature industry so those calculations are all established and a credible vendor can run these numbers.  The companies that lease the panels are in the business to make money- they put the capital up front, so it still makes sense for some folks.  

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If you are leasing the panels, read the contract carefully.  I've read that some companies that lease the panels put liens on the house and you'll have a hard time refinancing or selling the house.

Edited by north-shore fisha

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37 mins ago, north-shore fisha said:

If you are leasing the panels, read the contract carefully.  I've read that some companies that lease the panels put liens on the house and you'll have a hard time refinancing or selling the house.

This.  Maybe not even a lien but many buyers will not want to take over the lease payments in addition to a mortgage.

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From what I am reading, the panel will start paying you back in about 10 year. Which is about the average life span of a panel. Provided that any storm didn't rip them off the roof or cause any leaks in the mean time. Greener maybe, by I don't see the point in term of saving.  Maybe further down in the sun belt it could be feasible.  Update NY, not so much.

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I guess there really is ‘no free lunch’. There is sometimes a yearly 3% increase written into the lease fee as well. From my research, when you sell you have to pay off the lease in a lump sum or get the prospective buyer  to assume the payments. 
  It does look to make financial sense if you can swing the upfront costs of the panels, installation, and plan to stay for 15-20 years.

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We just put solar in this past winter, and paid upfront for everything. I can't imagine doing a lease program with the panels. Our system is supposed to pay for itself in 10-12 years and the major components (panels, inverter) have a warranty of 25 years. So it's definitely a long term investment....So far we've had the minimum electric bill (for having a meter) of $16  since April and I expect to have a little higher bill during the winter with shorter days, but overall very happy with the decision to put it in.

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25 mins ago, BLilly said:

We just put solar in this past winter, and paid upfront for everything. I can't imagine doing a lease program with the panels. Our system is supposed to pay for itself in 10-12 years and the major components (panels, inverter) have a warranty of 25 years. So it's definitely a long term investment....So far we've had the minimum electric bill (for having a meter) of $16  since April and I expect to have a little higher bill during the winter with shorter days, but overall very happy with the decision to put it in.

 

 

Mind saying how much the system cost?

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13 mins ago, north-shore fisha said:

 

 

Mind saying how much the system cost?

We are at a little less than $19k, though we had them do some things that added to the cost. The main thing was installing a bigger inverter so that we can expand the system easily without having to replace the inverter (we know that we'll be doing some improvements to the house that will need more power). The inverter sized for our system was going to run about $2500 but one that can handle twice the power was like a grand more . We also added panel optimizers that help with shading on the system, and various things like that.... I think that the original proposal for our system was going to be  around $16k.

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34 mins ago, BLilly said:

We are at a little less than $19k, though we had them do some things that added to the cost. The main thing was installing a bigger inverter so that we can expand the system easily without having to replace the inverter (we know that we'll be doing some improvements to the house that will need more power). The inverter sized for our system was going to run about $2500 but one that can handle twice the power was like a grand more . We also added panel optimizers that help with shading on the system, and various things like that.... I think that the original proposal for our system was going to be  around $16k.

You in west Virginia correct?  Lowest cost per kwh in the nation. So you got a uphill battle.  Does your system have a tracking program to show you how much electricity you produced each months? Would be interesting to see some data.

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26 mins ago, hobobob said:

You in west Virginia correct?  Lowest cost per kwh in the nation. So you got a uphill battle.  Does your system have a tracking program to show you how much electricity you produced each months? Would be interesting to see some data.

Next state over in VA....

 

Yeah we do have a way to track electricity produced. So far we've been producing between 600-800kw a month on a 5.7kw solar system (so 15- 385w panels). Our electric bill has gone from an average of $90-100 a month to $16 which is the minimum it will be as long as we have a meter on the house.

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Don’t lease , bite the bullet and buy .. 

 

mine were already installed on house when I bought and fully paid off and still have 10 years in the warranty so we got time to squirrel away some money when it’s time to replace them and the roof .. 

 

but we on budge billing plan for 30$ a month , and just got 400$ check from pseg so covers our bills for year and a some 6 pack money . But when they reevaluate for next years budget billing I’m pretty sure it’s gonna go down to 20-25$ a month .. 

 

ya figure with some houses pay 120-300$ a month in a electric the savings are worth it I think.. but like said if leak or problem , it cost like 2k to get them pulled off and replaced 

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16 hours ago, Wire For Fire said:

but like said if leak or problem , it cost like 2k to get them pulled off and replaced 

This is one of the reasons we opted for a ground mount system (aside of massive shading on our house from trees). No way I was letting the guys put screws into our metal roofing......Also the panels are easier to clean when they're on the ground.

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1 hour ago, BLilly said:

This is one of the reasons we opted for a ground mount system (aside of massive shading on our house from trees). No way I was letting the guys put screws into our metal roofing......Also the panels are easier to clean when they're on the ground.

Yea if ya have the room not a bad option .. 

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