(If the idea sounds good to you, then we need to talk)
Recently certain pop-up solar companies have started testing the waters outside of New Orleans with something called “solar leasing”. It’s hard to imagine this idea would get a second glance, but since it has, I’ll discuss it here. Imagine you want a new flat screen TV and it costs $600.
(c) lease it from a rent-to-own place?
I’ll bet you didn’t pick (c). You know that renting the TV over the period you will end up paying over $1900 for it. Read what Consumer Reports says about “rent to own”. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/money/shopping/rentacenter/overview/index.htm Renting solar is even more ridiculous. With a TV you don’t get a total of 80% tax credits nor does it pay for itself! With a combination of state and federal tax credits and many solar companies offering free financing, owning solar makes dollars and sense!
What the “rent to own” solar companies are doing is:
a) selling you a system at an inflated price and turning your receipt in to the state so that they can claim your hefty tax credit.
b) using the cheapest Chinese products they can buy with no concern about the quality to max their profits.
c) installing those products as fast as they can with the cheapest labor they can find.
d) using a “one size fits all” mentality.
e) in some cases facing the solar the wrong way.
f) add in your own horror story here.
Signing a long term contract to pay for a system you don’t even own if probably not the best financial decision you can make, especially solar for $50/month.
Here’s a national article from Renewable Energy World: why lease when you can own
Feel free to contact me with your questions or comments.
Jeff Shaw, owner Gulf South Solar
NABCEP Certified Installer