Own your Solar System Outright:
The Bad Economics of Solar Leases and PPAs
Solar customers have many options for rooftop solar systems – lease or buy, get a loan or pay upfront, what kind of system to get. At Aikyum Solar, we want to help you get a top-quality solar system and great savings with a payment system that benefits you. That’s why we encourage you to purchase, not lease your solar system.
You’ll be surprised at how much you can save buying, compared to a solar lease. When you pay for your system up-front or get a Zero money down solar bank loan, after a four to seven year payback period you will enjoy the full benefits of free electricity. But if you lease, you are contractually obligated to continue lease payments for 15+ years. Over the life of your system this lease commitment can cost you $40,000 or more. Or you may pay $0.12 to $0.20 per kWh with a PPA (plus annual rate escalations). Ouch! It’s much better to own your system: paybacks are 4-7 years and you will generate electricity for 25 years at a locked-in rate of $0.06 to $0.09 per kwh.
What’s a solar lease? You enter an agreement with a solar leasing company to install and maintain a solar system on your property, for no cash down. After the contract period ends, you can renew the lease, buy the solar system, or have the leasing company remove the solar system.
What’s a PPA? A solar power purchase agreement, or PPA, is similar to a lease – the solar leasing company installs a system on your property, and you pay them a monthly fee. Unlike with a lease, the leasing company owns the output electricity, and you pay them a monthly fee, which can increase over time, to purchase your power from them.
So: a lease or PPA gives you stable electricity pricing during the lease period and you pay nothing up-front. What’s the catch?
Moving when you have a solar lease can be a nightmare! Transferring your lease to the new homeowner can be tricky. If they don’t want to or cannot continue the solar lease, you may have to pay the full purchase price of the solar system from the leasing company or pay off the remaining lease payments.
You also miss out on some of the benefits of owning your own solar system! If you own your own rooftop solar system, you qualify for a 30% income tax credit. But if you lease, then the leasing company gets that tax credit, not you.
Aside from those benefits of owning your system, ownership is also just a better long-term economic option. The leasing company has to make a profit, and the money they make comes out of your solar earnings.
If you can’t pay the full system cost right now, a much better option than leasing is to borrow the money for your system, either with a home equity loan or a special Enerbank solar loan. You pay nothing up front, selling your house isn’t such a headache, and you can still qualify for solar rebates.
Advantages of a HELOC or Enerbank Solar loan:
- Almost all homeowners with equity in their home and no recent bankruptcies qualify (no specific FICO minimums)
- You can claim California Solar Incentives like the 30% Income Tax Credit and local utility rebates (available for Anaheim Public Utilities, Riverside Public Utilities, LADWP, and Moreno Valley Utilities)
- Interest on loan is tax deductible
- The loan process is easy, and Aikyum Solar will help expedite your paperwork
Maintenance and Production Guarantee
Aikyum Solar doesn’t abandon you after installing your solar system; we offer system monitoring, and a 10 year production guarantee. Solar leasing and PPAs may give their sales pitch, about not having to worry about your system malfunctioning or under producing, but at Aikyum Solar we offer all that along with your solar system purchase.
We use online monitoring software to make sure that your system is producing as much energy as we predicted. If your system doesn’t meet our predicted yearly production anytime in the next 10 years, we’ll pay you per $.10 per kilowatt-hour deficit.
So what does a lease get you? Eventual money loss compared to owning your system, hassle when you move, and no tax credit or other rebates.
Get a free quote for your solar system today and start your journey to clean energy and great savings with Aikyum.
Testimonials from a few of our customers:
“I have been very happy with the whole experience and Aikyum will get my unbridled recommendation in the future.”
– Arun Jain
“I reached out looking for someone to repair my system after a roof install and was incredibly impressed by how attentive Harina and her service tech Joey were in not only getting my system back in order but going above and beyond by contacting the manufacturer after the two inverters failed to operate. I would absolutely use them again in a heart beat, for any future solar needs. Thanks again Aikyum Solar.”
– Celso G.
“Harina patiently met with us several times to help me understand the details of solar and to suggest approaches that no other bidder had proposed. Her installation team was punctual, courteous and efficient.”
– Carol R.
“Working with Aikyum was extremely easy and streamlined. Harina and her team took care of everything from permitting, to HOA approvals, to final notices to the city and HOA.”
– Apur L.