Should you buy or lease your solar panel system?

Jan. 25, 2017

Posted: Wednesday, 1/25/17 @ 8am EST

With so many options available, it can be difficult to understand whether buying or leasing a solar system is best for you.The chart below helps clarify the differences, and our solar consultants are waiting to answer any questions you may have!




Tax Credits

Buying or financing solar panels is the best option for most consumers interested in solar.

With SREC (Solar Renewable Energy Credit) trade paying between $8,000 and $40,000 in incentives over 10 years, a federal tax credit of 30%, state tax credit of $1,000 and 0% down low interest financing available, it typically makes more sense for homeowners to own their own system.

Leasing solar panels is a good option for those who do not have a tax liability or are not moving within the next 20 years (because if you do move, the new owners will have to take over the lease). When you lease your system, the lease provider receives all tax credits and the incentives.  

Household Income

Owning a system requires decent credit. There are $0 down finance options that leave homeowners cash flow positive through the term of the loan. Should customers qualify, there are also income based incentives that can lower the cost of solar by up to 30%!

Leasing a system requires no initial financial investment. But similar to ownership, you must have 650 or better credit. 

Home Value

Studies show that installing solar on your home is a terrific value adder.  Homeowners with solar are able to ask more and their homes sell faster!

If you choose to lease solar panels, you will need to buy-out the system or transfer the lease to the new homeowner, which may make it more difficult to sell depending on the buyer.


The lifetime savings are greatest when homeowners own the system. Buying your system can eliminate your monthly electric bill.

Between SRECs and tax credits, the average homeowner receives more than $15,000 back in the first year alone!

The best part is, financing options allow for homeowners to pay zero out of pocket and be cashflow positive year one!

Lifetime savings are lower for leased systems. Leasing a system locks in your electricity cost per kWh for 20 years, which protects you from rising utility rates.  However, you will always have a bill for the electricity supplied by the solar lease during the term.



Luckily, solar is practically maintenance free.  Boston Solar is the only MA company to offer a standard 25-year warranty on the equipment and system and 25-year production guarantee.

Since the lease company owns the system, they will repair or replace at no cost during the lease term.

Questions? Contact:
Natalie Holtgrefe
Director of Marketing at Boston Solar

Should you buy or lease your solar panel system?

Is solar right for your home or business? Boston Solar can help you decide!

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