Solar panels are an excellent way to reduce energy bills while also helping the environment. However, they can be costly to buy outright. That’s where solar leasing companies come in.
Solar leasing has become a popular option for homeowners who want to go solar but don’t have the upfront cash to pay for it. With a solar lease, instead of buying the equipment up front, you pay a solar provider on a monthly basis.
The best solar leasing companies in the USA offer attractive terms, including low monthly payments, little or no money down, and options to purchase the system at the end of the lease.
If you are interested in solar leasing, this article will take you through the list of 15 best solar leasing companies in the USA based on reviews from SolarReviews.com.
What Is Solar Leasing and How Does It Work?
Solar leasing is a type of financing in which customers pay a monthly fee for the panels and receive the power generated by the system. They, however, do not own the panels.
The idea is to offer a handy solution for people who want to go green and reduce their electricity bills without having to shell out money for a solar energy system, similar to leasing a car.
Solar leasing has several advantages. For starters, it lowers a customer’s initial installation costs. When you use a solar lease, the solar company is responsible for the maintenance and liability for damaged panels, not the homeowner.
You do not own the panels, so you lose out on advantages like regional and national tax incentives.
Solar leases typically last 20 years and include a solar lease escalator, which raises the monthly installment yearly based on current market prices and the energy landscape.
Many solar leases can purchase solar panels at a reduced price at the end of the lease agreement (again, similar to a car).
Solar leasing was crucial in the industry’s early years when systems were more expensive; however, as solar panel costs have come down, leasing is no longer as advantageous as it once was.
Is Solar Leasing Worth It In the USA?
Solar leasing is an excellent option for those looking to go solar with little to no upfront cost. Solar leases typically have 20-year terms and include maintenance and monitoring services.
Solar leases also offer the option of purchasing the system at the end of the lease term.
There are a few things to consider when determining if a solar lease is right for you, such as your power usage, roof type, and credit score.
Solar leasing is a great way to go solar with little to no upfront cost. You can find solar leases with 20-year terms, including maintenance and monitoring services.
Some leases even offer the option to purchase the system at the end of the lease term. Before you decide if a solar lease is right for you, consider your power usage, roof type, and credit score.
What Are The Top 15 Solar Leasing Companies In The USA?
If you believe solar leasing is the best option for adding solar to your home, a list of companies currently providing this service is below.
When deciding which company is best for you, consider your home’s size, location, power usage, climate, and price. Also, keep in mind that many of these companies are only available in your area, so look for the best options.
- Solar City
- Momentum Solar
- Trinity Solar
- Horizon Solar Power
- Verengo Solar
- RGS Energy Inc.
- OneRoof Energy
- Vivint Solar
- First Solar
- Solar Universe
Sungevity, a Kaco New Energy USA partner, has become one of the most well-known names in solar leasing. They are one of the best solar leasing companies in the USA.
According to their availability map, the company is available in California, Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts.
Sungevity has also recently partnered with Lowe’s to provide greater customer access in the states above. Customers will be able to get quotes and answers to their questions in-store.
#2. Solar City
Solar City recently made headlines when Google announced a $280 million investment in the company in June, the largest of its kind to date.
They now provide service in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.
For Texas residents, Solar City and TXU recently announced a partnership full of incentives to provide solar leasing to the lone star state.
The SunPower Lease program is available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, making it one of the best solar companies in the USA.
Additionally, it features an early buy-out option that enables homeowners to buy the system to raise the value of their properties when they sell.
SunPower accepted a $105 million loan from Citi on August 2, 2011, to expand its leasing program. SunPower can expect significant growth and expansion in the future thanks to this additional funding from one of the world’s largest financial services.
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#4. Momentum Solar
Momentum Solar makes the switch to solar energy simple and pleasurable. The company handles everything from pricing and backing to design and installation in-house, making them one of the top solar leasing companies in the USA.
It also provides a variety of solar panels to help its customers customize their systems.
Momentum’s interactive mobile shadowing app allows guests to share more diligently in the installation process, and its regularly streamlined blog informs and educates homeowners about their solar energy systems.
#5. Trinity Solar
Trinity Solar is the Northeast’s leading designer and installer of solar electric systems. Its mission is to provide customers with high-performance, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible energy solutions.
Also, Trinity has installed over 7,000 solar power systems, grown to more than 350 workers, and is now the largest solar provider in the Northeast and one of the top ten solar providers in the country.
PetersenDean was founded in 1984 and has since been a key leader and innovator in the US solar energy market. Also, they are the best solar leasing companies in the USA.
They offer both roofing and solar installation. Although the solar component is a relatively new addition to their divisions, their long history in the roofing market has given them an advantage in understanding what different markets require to make solar energy viable.
Also they do a lot of residential work, but they also do commercial and government work.
#7. Horizon Solar Power
Horizon is an unusual addition to this list because its focus is primarily on Southern California. This region has one of the country’s highest proportions of solar energy use.
They are a leading provider of residential solutions in this regard. Their primary focus is on solar integration in both rehabs and new construction.
Also, they are the leading provider of discount solar panels to residential customers because of their special pricing arrangements with solar module and component producers.
#8. Verengo Solar
Based on market share, this company has risen to become one of the top three residential solar installation companies in the United States. It has done so well that there is speculation that it is now seeking buyers.
Verengo Solar, which focuses on the residential market, has reportedly installed over 12,000 solar units in homes since its inception.
It is friendly to those just starting to explore solar lifestyles but does well with business and commercial accounts. In addition, Verengo Solar is one of the best solar leasing companies in the USA.
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Sunrun is a newcomer to the industry, having been founded in 2007. Although they currently only serve 11 states, they have grown to become one of the largest solar installers within those states.
They do not manufacture, but they specialize in leasing and installation. Their contracts are split equally between residential, commercial, and government contracts.
Also, they are one of the first options for PPA customers and those just starting to investigate solar power.
#10. RGS Energy Inc.
Real Goods Solar’s RGS Energy division. Real Goods Solar ranks fifth in the United States for residential solar installation.
Their RGS Energy division is their most recent innovation to bring their products to more homes, businesses, and PPA customers. They provide both leasing and financing options.
Furthermore, RGS has been serving customers for over 35 years and is widely regarded as a pioneer in making solar energy a viable option for private homes and businesses.
#11. OneRoof Energy
OneRoof Energy, one of the market’s newer companies, was founded in 2011. They do not manufacture or sell solar modules, panels, or components; instead, they act as a bespoke leasing agent for other businesses.
The benefit for their companies has been that they have been able to carve out a niche in leased services and components that allow businesses and residential customers to take advantage of industry discounts.
They can also bring solar access to underserved areas through negotiated access. In addition, OneRoof Energy is one of the top solar leasing companies in the USA.
#12. Vivint Solar
Vivint Solar is following closely behind PetersenDean. They do not have a roofing division, but they do have home security and automation divisions. They, like PetersenDean, have entered the solar market by utilizing their knowledge of residential and commercial needs.
Furthermore, they were ranked second in the country as a solar installation provider in 2013. They install and lease products, sell components, and do no in-house manufacturing.
Also, Vivint solar provides direct sales, leasing, and PPA agreements to residential, commercial, and government clients.
Suniva is the leading manufacturer of high-efficiency, low-cost PV solar cells and modules in the United States. Also, they are one of the best solar leasing companies in the USA.
The business is renowned throughout the world for its premium solar goods, low-cost production technique that has been trademarked, and long-term dependability.
Suniva’s innovative manufacturing process ensures that every product it makes combines high power with exceptional value while its research milestones continue to set the standard in the global PV marketplace.
#14. First Solar
First Solar is the world’s largest supplier of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions. Many of the world’s largest grid-connected PV power plants have been developed, financed, engineered, and built and are currently being operated by First Solar.
Combining technology, services, and experience across the entire solar value chain, First Solar provides bankable PV energy solutions, allowing a world powered by dependable and reasonably priced solar electricity.
#15. Solar Universe
Solar Universe, headquartered in California, has been providing locally owned and operated solar to communities across the country through their locally owned and operated franchise network since 2008.
They have created a one-of-a-kind solar franchise network that saves energy for consumers and businesses through its network of locally owned and operated franchises.
In addition, solar universe is one of the best solar leasing companies in the USA.
Leasing Solar Panels vs. Buying Solar Panels
The main difference between leasing and buying solar panels is ownership. When you buy a solar system, you own it and are responsible for its maintenance and operation costs.
However, if you lease a solar panel, the utility company providing this option is the true owner and must bear this burden.
Purchasing a solar panel is the best option to maximize potential financial benefits and reap long-term savings.
These economic benefits include lower state taxes through investment credits, government rebates (up to 30% in some cases), and the addition of Solar Renewable Energy Credits. Furthermore, having solar panels increases the market value of a property.
While solar leasing can be profitable over the contract’s life, customers who can purchase the systems outright will benefit more financially.
However, solar leasing is the best option if you only want to use the electricity generated by the solar panel as a source of clean energy.
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Is a Solar Lease Right For You?
The decision to lease solar, purchase solar panels outright, enter into a PPA, or ignore solar as an option is very personal and significant. To assist with such decisions, consider the following solar leasing advantages and disadvantages:
Advantages of Solar Leasing
Solar leasing has numerous natural advantages, including the following:
- There is no need to pay high upfront costs for solar panel installation. Energy prices are locked in for the future, even if the market is volatile.
- Avoid the hassle of equipment maintenance and monitoring.
- Significant savings on utility bills.
- The reduced carbon footprint of households.
- Power production guarantees in solar leases mean that payments can be reduced if the panel does not produce as expected, reducing risk.
Disadvantages of Solar Leasing
Solar leasing is not for everyone, as these contracts can carry some risks and concerns:
- As utility rates rise, leasing prices also rise, potentially undermining expected cost benefits.
- You are ineligible for the federal solar tax credit or local benefits because you do not own solar panels.
- Although there is no upfront cost, you will pay the same or more than you would if you bought the solar panels outright.
- Leased solar panels do not increase the value of your home as much as owned panels do because they are separate from the property you own.
- If you want to move, breaking your lease may take time and effort.
- If you live in an area without net metering, leasing may not be economically feasible.
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FAQs About the Top Best Solar Leasing Companies in the USA
The installation of a solar power system on your roof by a utility company is made possible through a long-term (usually 20-year) contract known as a solar lease. You pay yearly price hikes and monthly installments in exchange for the electricity these panels produce.
People who do not want to deal with the hassle of maintaining solar panels or who move every five to ten years may benefit from a solar lease. Solar leasing may also appeal to customers who need help to pay a large sum of money upfront.
However, there are significant financial disadvantages, including ineligibility for the federal solar tax credit of 30%.
The monthly payments you make on a solar lease will typically rise year after year due to an inflation-accounting price escalator. As a result, you will pay the same or more than you would if you bought solar panels outright.
Solar leasing typically lasts 20 to 25 years, which is the average lifespan of solar panels. When your lease expires, you can renew it, discontinue the services and have the panels removed, or purchase the panels from the solar vendor at a discounted market rate.
These US solar energy companies have recognized that there are more places where solar can be used than previously thought.
The new leasing and discount programs make it easier for homeowners and businesses to incorporate solar energy into their building designs.
Rather than believing that all houses must be solar, there is a stronger push to install solar assistance for existing fossil fuel systems.
In addition, I hope this article on the best solar leasing companies in the USA satisfies your search for the top solar leasing companies to pick from.
- www.forbes.com – What Is Solar Leasing? Here’s What You Should Know
- www.solarpowerauthority.com – Solar Panel Leasing Review and Company Comparison
- www.solarreviews.com – Solar leases: Everything you need to know
- www.conserve-energy-future.com – 15 Best U.S. Solar Energy Companies
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