solar leasing
Compare the Return: Solar Leasing vs Purchase in Massachusetts

Purchase Solar Panels in Massachusetts

This chart shows projected 25-year returns on investment between buying and leasing solar for your home. The purchase option, designated by the green bars assumes a fifteen year loan is used to purchase the solar system. This option clearly leads to the higher rate of return. Paying for the system over time means you may not actually put down any of your own money. As the owner you pay down the system cost monthly while still taking advantage of a huge federal tax credit (30% of the solar system cost) and a $1000 Massachusetts state tax credit in the first year of ownership. Your loan payments over fifteen years will be less than the electric savings and the income (performance payments) your system generates each year. All you need is your good credit or equity in your home. Owning your roof top system which may cost approx. $18,750 (the cost of a 5kW solar system) allows you to have your cake and eat it too. It is like investing in a business that is sure to succeed. Here is how it breaks down.
A typical 5kW solar system costs about $18,750. This is how much you will be financing (think home equity loan).

The electricity savings in the first year is approx. $1,229, your annual loan payment is approximately $1,779, meaning you would spend $550 on solar in the first year, but…

You’ll also see a huge tax credits. The feds give you 30% of the cost of your system back, which in this case is $5,625 and you can add to that the Massachusetts state tax credit of $1000. Even though you pay for your system over time you get all these benefits upfront.

The next great benefit comes from the Massachusetts SREC program (discussed below) which may provide an additional $1,667 in income from solar in year one alone. When you add all this up you come out $7,741 ahead at the end of the first twelve months. Wow.

Your electricity savings coupled with SREC sales will always be more than you loan payment. Meaning you will never pay a penny for electricity and you may come out $42,000 ahead after 25 years (see chart). Solar in Massachusetts offers an incredible opportunity.
On top of all that green in your pocket, you are being green for the environment.

MASS SREC (performance payments)

The best thing about solar in Massachusetts might be its SREC market, which can generate thousands of dollars for the solar system owner over the course of the systems lifetime. An SREC is a certificate of renewable energy generation and you get one each time your solar panels generate a megawatt-hour (MWh). A 5-kW solar system in Massachusetts may produce about 6 MWh of electricity per year and utility companies will pay you about $285 per SREC. This may add up to $1,700 in the first year alone and big dollars over time.

Leasing Solar Panels in Massachusetts

With a lease you are essentially renting your rooftop to a solar company that wants to put solar panels on it. In this arrangement there is usually no down payment. You make a monthly lease payment to the solar leasing company and you get all of the power the system produces. The savings you earn from your low monthly electric bill may easily offsets the amount of your monthly lease payment.

Leasing a 5-kW solar system can save you about $40 per month, which might not sound like a lot until you add it up over twenty years and consider how much utility companies may raise rates on that electricity that you are not paying for and you end up with a small mountain of cash. All without risking your own money. With leasing you put $0 down and start saving right away while the installation company takes care of any repairs and maintenance (usually all that is required is an annual washing to keep panels at peak production).

Keep in mind that in this arrangement you must forfeit all the tax credits and performance payments (SREC) you would have received if you owned the system yourself to the solar leasing company. This is how they can afford to give you such a no-brainer proposition in the first place.

When you decide it’s time to go solar call Energy geeks at (401)-766-1540 or contact us online and let one of our friendly and knowledgeable field representatives come to your home and give you a no-cost solar assessment.

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