Financing Your Solar Power System

Is it better to buy with cash, get a Hero loan, or lease your new solar energy system?

There are benefits to each type of financing. See which option is right for you.

Cash Purchase…. The benefit of a cash purchase is that you will own your solar system, and you will get to keep the 30% Federal tax credit, as well as, any utility rebates that may be available.  As utility prices rise, your cost of energy remains fixed, which means your savings will increase over time. A study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) concluded that homes with solar panels sell 20% faster and for 17% more money.

HERO Loan… The benefit of getting a Hero loan, is that you own the system outright and can keep the 30% Federal tax credit and any utility rebates that may be available.  With the Hero loan, there is no credit check, and instead, the loan attaches to your tax assessed property value, and is paid off in installments twice a year along with your property tax payments, for up to 20 years.  The Hero loan does not show up on your personal credit.

Solar Lease… The benefit of a solar lease is that you can still enjoy a lower cost of energy every month, without having debt added to your balance sheet.  Leases typically last for a 15-20 year period, and if you want to sell the property during that time, the lease will have to be transferred to the new owner (who will have to show creditworthiness to qualify for the lease transfer).  What is a solar lease? A solar lease is when a third party owns the solar equipment.  The lease payment escalates over time (under the assumption that energy prices will rise), which is based on an assumed utility inflation rate.  A solar lease is not an “investment” — with a lease you do not have ownership of the solar assets. A solar lease is a financial commitment to a long stream of regular payments, for this reason a lease adds no value to your property.  Individuals, churches and non-profit organizations who cannot take advantage of the tax credit, often choose a solar lease.