These days there are many solar power companies to choose from, and they offer many different services. That can make choosing the right one tricky. However, customers will need to make an early decision: Do they buy their power or lease it? Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Buying Solar Power
Buying solar power is what is sounds like: The customer buys the solar panels. The big advantage is that owning the solar system outright enables the owner to take advantage of the various government incentives available. Federal, state and local governments all offer rebates, tax credits and deductions, and special financing programs. The owner of the solar system can also take it with them should they move. Using solar power also reduces one's electric bills.
The big disadvantage to buying solar power is the expense. Buying and installing solar panels can cost anywhere between $10,000 and $40,000. There is also a lot of paperwork involved in acquiring a solar system, since the owner has to get a permit, have the system inspected, and apply for the various financial incentives and rebates. Another downside to owning a solar system is that the owner is responsible for any needed maintenance and repairs.
Leasing Solar Power
When somebody leases a solar system, they are essentially renting it; the solar power company owns it. Leases have become popular since they save the consumer the huge initial expense of acquiring a solar system. The solar company is also responsible for all of the paperwork and repairs. The customer still gets the benefits of reduced electric bills.
The downside to leasing a solar system is that the customer isn't eligible to take advantage of the various financial incentives and rebates being offered; those go to the solar company instead. Nor can the customer take the solar system with them if they move.