Capturing the power of the sun is one of the most environmentally-friendly ways to generate electricity for your home. However, the cost of purchasing, installing and maintaining residential solar panels often makes this investment impossible for many homeowners.
A system containing enough residential solar panels to provide power for the average home can cost several thousand dollars and take years to realize a return on investment. Luckily, a number of companies and state utility companies have implemented leasing programs for residential solar panels to allow homeowners to realize the benefits of renewable energy without making a large initial investment.
How Residential Solar Panel Leasing Programs Work
Some residential solar leasing companies have taken the challenges out of going solar away by handling everything from financing the installation of residential solar panels to monitoring the system once it’s installed.
Residential solar panel leasing programs work similar to paying a standard utility bill. Homeowners make payments direct to the company they are leasing the residential solar panels. The rate paid for the electricity generated by the sun is typically less than the amount paid for paying for electricity from a utility company. Some companies who lease residential solar panels just charge a monthly fee instead of a fee for electricity used. The amount paid for leasing residential solar panels and electricity is typically less than what homeowner’s pay for a traditional electric bill.
Cities such as Boulder, Colorado encourage residents to go solar by funding residential solar panel investments through municipal bonds. Homeowners then pay the cost of the residential solar panels back over a 20 year period as part of their property tax bill. A number of state and federal incentives are also available to help make investing in residential solar panels more affordable.
Resources for Residential Solar Panels
If you are ready to go solar, there are a number of residential solar panel leasing companies for you to work with to help you capture energy from the sun. Some of the companies offering leasing programs include SolarCity, SunRun, and SunPower.
To date, residential solar panels leasing programs are not available in every state. Solar leasing programs include Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Some energy utility companies, such as Xcel Energy in Minnesota, are also offering residential solar panel leasing programs.
If a leasing program for residential solar panels is not available in your state, the Database of State Incentives website provides a list of state incentives available.
Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency
Scientific American, “The No-Money Down Solar Plan,” December 2009
Solar Power Authority, How Do Solar Panel Leasing Programs Work?
SunPower Residential Solar Panel Systems
Builder Online, Xcel Energy Testing Solar Leasing Programs for Homeowners