Renewable sources of energy are becoming increasingly popular and the sun’s energy is a resource that can be tapped into all year round. The average cost of installing a solar panel system is between £3,000 and £3,500. However, consumers can reap the rewards of free energy and cut the price of their existing electricity bills.
Solar energy usage has risen by a figure of 20% annually over the last 15 years and complements existing gas and electricity usage. The vast range of flexible tariffs available from British Gas could be a great way of saving money on your electricity and gas over a sustained period of time.
For those who can’t afford the upfront cost of a solar electric system, one option is to secure a loan so that you can make monthly payments. In some cases, this option can result in payments lower than your current monthly electric bill. And, as you suggested, solar leases can be another good option.
You could potentially lease a solar electric system from any third party, but it would typically be from a company that specializes in solar leases. Two such companies are Sun Run and Solar City, but you’ll want to search online to find what’s available in your area.
In general, two types of solar leases are available. The most common is an operating lease. In this case, the third party (the lessor) installs the system at its expense and is therefore considered the owner of the system. It receives all the tax benefits, such as the current 30 percent federal investment tax credit, and local utility rebates, if any. The terms of lease agreements vary considerably and are often tailored to the finances of the homeowner or business owner (the lessee). Some operating leases require no upfront payment, while others require a small down payment. The cost of maintenance and component replacement may fall on the shoulders of either the lessor or the lessee.
Households can choose to install solar panels and benefit from the government’s Feed-In Tariff scheme or participate in the rent-a-roof scheme. This will be really a new and surprising idea in growing popularity and use of the solar panel in your country, due to the high cost of solar panels if you decide to buy this. “About two-thirds of our business is leasing,” says Mark Byington, president of highly rated Cobalt Power Systems Inc., in Mountain View, Calif., who began offering the option in 2011. “I’m very excited by the popularity.”
To prepay the lease all at once, it costs customers between $8,199 and $9,409. “In Arizona, you can expect to save at least $10 to $40 a month [on utility bills] from day one,” he says. Byington says his customers can expect to recoup a fully prepaid lease in a 5-kilowatt system in about four years.