Poll: Solar leasing
Solar leasing allows you to go solar with no money down + save on your electric bill. Would you do a solar lease?
U.S. states with solar leasing*

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Washington State

*Leasing only available in certain parts of each state.
Last update = 2/20/2013

Home going solar leasing vs. buying

Solar leasing vs. buying

lease-section-pic1In this section, SolarChargedDriving.Com examines various aspects of solar leasing, which is expanding right now in the United States. As of February 2013, solar leasing is available in 14 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Washington State. Solar leasing allows consumers to leap over arguably the biggest barrier to going solar: Solar’s substantial upfront costs.

Neighborhood walk reveals allure of solar leasing


A new REC Solar/SunRun home solar system (upper left) going up in Denver, Colorado's Park Hill Neighborhood on July 27, 2012. Like the majority of REC Solar home PV systems being installed in Colorado now, this one is a leased system, not a homeowner owned system. [Photo Credit: Christof Demont-Heinrich]

I was walking through Denver, Colorado’s Park Hill neighborhood yesterday afternoon when I saw an REC Solar truck on the side of the road.

Sure enough, it was parked in front of the house that I’d noticed a couple of days earlier had what had seemed, back then, like a rather strange sign given that the home had no solar panels: “This home powered by REC Solar.”

REC Solar installed the 5.59 kW home solar system on our Aurora, Colo., home’s rooftop two years ago that has now produced nearly 2 megawatts of solar electricity, or nearly twice as much as we’ve actually used (this because we haven’t been able to get the electric car we thought we’d have by now).

Since REC Solar had installed our system, I decided to chat it up with the REC crew. I asked about Tim and Dustin, who were part of the crew that installed our system. They’re still at REC Solar, though they’ve moved up the ranks.

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Solar Leasing Police say buy your solar -- or else!


[Photo Credit: martnpro, Flickr Creative Commons]

Look out! The Solar Leasing Police are on the prowl and they think you’re an idiot for leasing a solar system instead of buying it.

Are you?

Well, first, we absolutely detest the condescending paternalism of the anti-leasing crowd many of whom we’re guessing probably don’t even have solar themselves (could it be because they can’t afford the big upfront costs?).

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Study: Solar leasing starting to outstrip buying


More and more homeowners are choosing leasing over buying a home solar system.

Solar leasing – which allows homeowners to go solar without the large upfront costs that have for so long have discouraged many from going solar – is quickly taking over as the preferred pathway to solar in the U.S., according to a new study produced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo.

The new third-party-lease business model lets homeowners save money the very first month, rather than breaking even as long as a decade later after an initial investment of typically between $10,000 or $20,000.

According to SolarChargedDriving.Com’s exclusive list of states with leasing, leasing is an option for homeowners in 13 states and in Washington, D.C.

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5 reasons to lease vs. 5 reasons to buy solar


This 5.1 kW solar system in Aurora, Colo. is being leased through SunRun, but was installed by Namaste Solar. [Photo Credit: Christof Demont-Heinrich]

In the U.S., people interested in going solar are inevitably interested in the difference between buying a home solar system and leasing one as well as in the comparative pros and cons of each.

We’ve addressed solar leasing vs. buying in a number of stories and columns, including a popular article written by an expert in the solar industry.

Given the strong interest in solar leasing and the desire to compare solar leasing to buying we consistently see at SolarChargedDriving.Com and the fact that we haven’t written about solar leasing vs. buying in awhile, we figured it’s good time for a review.

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SolarCity brings solar leasing to Northeast


SolarCity is bringing solar leasing from California to the East Coast. [Photo Credit: SolarCity]

SolarCity is acquiring the East Coast’s largest residential solar installer and is expanding to serve Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The company will acquire the residential solar installation division of groSolar, and bring its popular solar lease to the Northeastern United States.

While solar leasing is already available in some parts of Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, it’s a new option in New York, which, according to SolarChargedDriving.Com’s list of states with solar leasing, will become the 12th in the U.S. in which consumers can go solar with little to no money down when SolarCity begins offering its solar lease in limited areas of the state in March.

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