Owning Solar Panels Has Become More Popular Than Leasing Them

June 17, 2016

In 2014, solar leases and contracts of a similar nature accounted for 72 percent of home-solar sales, but by 2017 that share is forecasted to fall back down to 57 percent as more people now have the ability to buy the panels outright, MarketWatch reports.

Before, anyone looking to add a solar system to their roof would have to lease the panels for a monthly fee from the solar company after signing a 20-year lease. But now, as the market for solar loans has exploded, and increasing number of people is taking advantage of the various loan programs now available to them, programs that typically end up saving them money in the long run.

Not only are there more options to help homeowners fund solar systems, but also, the costs of installing solar power are falling. In 2006, solar panel prices were around $4.50 a watt. Now, the costs are down to around 50 cents to 60 cents a watt.

An impending issue facing the solar industry that may make them less attractive to homeowners is the fact that many U.S. states are considering decreasing and restricting solar power incentives because of increasing pressure from electric utilities.

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