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Solar Leasing: 5 Ways Solar Panels Are Different From Cars

solar leasingMost personal finance experts will tell you leasing a car is a bad idea. After all, cars depreciate in value very quickly, and you’ll never get anything back on your investment. (With gas at $4+ per gallon, they’ll just keep sucking money out of you!)

But the exact opposite is true for solar panels. Don’t let that L-word (lease) scare you when it comes to investing in solar energy. Here are five reasons why solar leases may be a good idea … for your wallet, for your home, and for the world!

1. No wheelin’ and dealin’. You can often lease solar panels with no money down, which means there’s no need to save or sacrifice for the sake of solar energy.

2. A “brake” on spending. Your electric bills will decrease substantially; you’ll pay less for the lease and your new electric bills combined than you previously paid for electricity.

3. This engine’s built to last. Solar panel leases typically last 15 years. Most solar panels are warrantied for 25 years, so you are “trading in” your leased panels long before they begin to show marked depreciation in efficiency. Solar panels lose about half a percentage point in efficiency every year, so by 25 years, they’re operating at about 12.5% efficiency, which still isn’t bad.

4. Low maintenance. Solar panels have very low maintenance costs beyond keeping them clean; unlike a car, you’re not putting money into something you won’t keep.

5. A transfer is typically easy. Solar panels are a good investment to increase your home’s value. If you sell your home before the lease is up, the new homeowner can take over the lease. Have you ever heard anyone say, “No, thank you, I’d like to pay as much as possible for my home electric use?”

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A full-time freelance writer, Dawn frequently covers energy efficiency, green living, and topics like LED lighting and whole home control systems for a number of blogs and technology trade magazines. Dawn is proud to live in New York as the state vies to beat out New Jersey as the East coast top dog of solar energy and is waiting for the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate legislation to pass before installing solar panels on her Long Island home.

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