Solar Leasing No-Nos and How to Advise Your Friends

Why SEG Does Not Offer Solar Leases and Why We Do Not Recommend Them

solar leases vs solar ownership northern california

Many big box corporate solar companies offer solar leases as an alternative to purchasing a solar energy system outright. We do not sell leases and do not recommend them to our clients. There are other ways to finance a solar system which keep you as the owner of your energy.

Friends don’t let friends get solar leases!

Here is why:

First, what is a Solar Lease?

A solar lease is a contract between a homeowner and a solar energy company, where the company installs a solar energy system on the homeowner’s property and leases it back to the homeowner for a monthly fee. The homeowner does not own the solar energy system, often times does not have control of their equipment, and the leasing company is responsible for its maintenance and repairs.

Why We Do Not Recommend It

1. Leases Can Be More Expensive Than Purchasing Outright

While a solar lease may appear to be an attractive option for homeowners who do not have the funds to purchase a solar energy system with cash or financing, it can be more expensive in the long run. Solar leases typically have a term of 20 years, and the monthly payments can add up to be much higher than the cost of purchasing the system instead.

2. Leases Can Be Difficult to Transfer

While some solar leasing companies offer a transfer of the lease to the new homeowner, the process can be complicated and may not be appealing to potential buyers. This put up majore roadblocks when you are trying to sell your home. Ask any realtor. 

3. Leasing companies may put a lien on your house!

This could lead to the infamous question you see online: “I am trying to sell my house but the solar company put a lien on my property.” Believe us, this is not fun for the homeowner trying to sell.

4. You Miss Out on Tax Incentives

When you purchase a solar energy system outright, you are eligible for a tax credit, and at this time that is a 30% tax credit of the total system cost! That is a lot! However, if you lease a solar energy system, the leasing company receives the tax incentives.

How can you purchase a system even if you don’t have the cash.

Solar financing is actually pretty easy to qualify for. Especially as you own your home.  Many of our customers simply get a low interest home equity loan from any of the local banks.  We are also partnered up with solar financing companies like Salal that offer great rates and payback periods. The loan will cost less than your monthly electric bill and in a short amount of time you won’t have to pay anything and still reap the benefits. 


We believe it is in the best interest of our clients to own their solar system. When you own your solar, you have the freedom to choose what equipment you want, and you can take full advantage of tax incentives and it is simply a better value than leases.

Also we want to ensure our people have the best experience when it comes to getting solar. Look around on the internet, those big box solar companies have terrible reviews! The person who sold them system is all the suddenly not available for questions and sometimes they don’t even live in town. They could have been just selling for a random installation crew from Sacramento. No accountability! We have seen out of town company goes bankrupt and no longer honor their warranties. We seen them not be available when service is needed or in emergencies.

On the other side, we are here for you, we live here locally, shopping in the same supermarkets. Our reputation in the community is important to us and it’s why we are still in business going on our 20th year!

SEG - Sustainable Energy Group Grass Valley CA

Choose Solar Ownership over Leasing

In conclusion, leasing a solar system may seem like an easy and affordable way to go solar, but it comes with a lot of drawbacks that will end up costing you more in the long run. At Sustainable Energy Group, we believe in providing our customers with the best solar solutions that offer long-term financial and environmental benefits. That’s why we don’t offer solar leases and we don’t recommend them.

Here are some quick points to share with your friends as to why it’s better to own:

  • You own the system and the energy it produces, which means you can enjoy the full financial benefits of your investment.
  • You can take advantage of tax credits and other incentives that are only available to solar system owners.
  • You can increase the value of your home by adding a solar system that you own, rather than one that is leased.
  • You can have peace of mind knowing that you have reliable, trustworthy, local experts that are ready and able to maintain your solar system and backup power for decades to come.

If someone you know is ready to go solar, especially with NEM 3.0 approaching in April, please invite them to explore solar ownership options instead of leases with Sustainable Energy Group. Our team of experts can help design and install a custom solar system that meets their unique energy needs and budget. Please have them contact us today (530) 273-4422 to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable energy future.