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How to Get out of a Solar Lease Contract

Are you confused about how to get out of a solar lease after the installation process?

Most homeowners with solar systems installed over five years ago secured them on lease. This was done due to the lack of proper financing options available in the market. Today, we are enjoying the option to buy solar panels in cash or loan and still enjoy the numerous benefits that come with it. Whether to buy or lease solar is in the hands of the buyer. Before we go further, you may wonder:

Solar-lease-process

(Source: California Energy Commission)

What is a Solar Panel Lease?

A solar panel lease involves getting a solar system for your home for a certain period of time and that the solar system is not permanently yours, but the property of the solar provider. How does a solar lease work? As a buyer, you will sign a solar lease agreement to stipulate the terms of use. There are various advantages as well as solar lease disadvantages that you should be keen on as a homeowner looking to invest in solar. 

It is important to use a solar lease calculator to get the worth of the transaction. Most times, buyers realize it’s a disadvantage compared to buying a solar system and, at some point, you may feel like opting out of the solar lease. Note that, there is a specific procedure to do that. In this article, we shall discuss how to get out of a solar lease. 

Let’s examine:

  • Why do Homeowners get out of a Solar Lease
  • How to Get Out of a Solar Lease: Everything You Need to Know
  • When moving to a new Location
  • Revoking Your Solar Lease Before the Setup Process

Why do Homeowners Get Out of a Solar Lease?

Many homeowners are looking for ways on how to get out of a solar lease. There are many reasons why solar panel users would want to get out of their solar lease. It could be because owning a solar system is much more profitable compared to leasing. The many changes that the world has thrown recently have allowed homeowners to use a solar lease calculator and analyze the worth it brings home. 

Remember that the goal is to have access to premier solar for your home. Let’s explore a few of the solar lease disadvantages that homeowners might have for wanting to get out of a solar lease agreement

Solar-panels-saves

(Source: SEIA)

Tough Economic Situation

Many people have been driven out of their job or are experiencing major setbacks in the number of hours they once worked. With the economy struggling to improve, now isn’t exactly the most opportune time to be stuck in a lease. While it’s true that your solar panels are likely saving you a sizable portion over what you’d normally be paying your electric company, owning your system is always better than leasing it.

If you find that your solar panel system just isn’t bringing in the value and savings that you thought it would, it makes sense to want to break the lease. After all, it’s kind of pointless to be paying your leasing company more than what your energy bill costs. Some users may have jumped on board due to a low introductory rate, but eventually discover that they are paying more later on in the life of their lease.

You Are Moving to a New Home

You may be moving to a new home due to various reasons such as a change of job. This is a good reason for wanting out of your current lease. However, you may want to move with your solar panels and some options will guide you in such a move. If this is the case, there are usually options for such an instance. Many times, the leasing company will have an option that lets you relocate the solar panels to your new home. 

Alternatively, the leasing company may let the new homeowner buyout what’s left on your lease. You may also be able to buy the solar panels outright from the leasing company. If you are happy with your solar panel system and want to continue using it at your new location, you may not have to break the lease. It’s best to inquire about your available options and go from there.

Poor Service from the Leasing Company

Benefits-of-Solar

(Source: ResearchGate)

At some point, you may have realized that the service from your leasing company just isn’t reasonable and up to your satisfaction. There have been plenty of customers who later found that the ongoing service and support doesn’t meet their needs. 

If this is the case with your current leasing company, it’s understandable that you would want to get out of your lease. The best thing is to communicate your displeasure for their service, as long as it is legitimate and within reason. That is why I advise hiring a reliable solar provider who is professional and experienced. It will save you from making changes that are costly in the middle of the lease.

You may find that you have clear grounds for getting out of your lease early. If you have found that this is true with your leasing company, keep a record of the issues you have faced since signing the contract. It will make it easier to show your reasoning for wanting to get out of the lease. Remember that you will not be the first one to pull out, there were others before you.

The Need to Cancel After Installation

If you have already installed your solar panels and suddenly feel like canceling the lease, it’s still okay. There are many reasons why this could happen. It could be you are selling your home and the new owner is not interested in the solar system, or you just want to opt-out and hire another provider. In any case, you shouldn’t have any trouble transferring your lease to the new homeowner. If that isn’t something the new homeowner is interested in, you could purchase the remaining value of the equipment. 

Depending on where you are in your lease, this may be an option that is listed within your lease. And if there isn’t a date laid out for when you can do this, many leasing companies will let you get out of the contract by buying the equipment at fair market value. If this is an acceptable option, you can look forward to the price going down the longer you are in the lease.  

Not only is the market price taken into consideration, but so is the time that the system has been used. Both of these points factor in the final total cost of the buy-out option, so you may not have to pay as much as you are thinking.

Canceling Before Installation

If your solar panel system has yet to be installed, you may have recourse for getting out of your lease with the leasing company. Many of these companies have windows that allow you to cancel your contract before the installation begins. Furthermore, if you act within a reasonable amount of time, you shouldn’t have to worry about being penalized in any way.

The timeframes differ among each leasing company. But on average, your window for getting out of your lease is somewhere around 30 days after you have signed the contract. It’s also important to point out that most leasing companies’ contracts tell you what is allowed for breaking your contract early.

Always be sure to thoroughly examine your contract before signing so that you know what to expect. You may have rights that allow you to cancel your lease early.

After finding out your reasons to opt-out of a solar lease agreement, the next question is how do you get out of a solar lease.

How to Get Out of a Solar Lease: Everything You Need to Know

In this segment, we’re going to express different scenarios and the options that favor you as you opt-out.

When Moving to a New Location

When you’re selling your property, depending on the contract agreement when you negotiate a solar lease, you have a few options for meeting the lease obligation before the termination of the contract. Such options include the following:

Purchasing the Solar Panel at the Current Market Price

Did you know that buying a solar panel is the best option? It may be expensive initially, but in the long run, it saves you a lot of money. Many lease contracts do not precisely indicate an amount of purchase; however, they state that an experienced examiner will designate the fair market value at the period of purchase.

Hence, it’s necessary to look into the entire period your solar system has been in use, as well as the present market options. Please keep in mind that your system is tied down to an asset of generating power, so the amount of purchase might be higher. If you find it favorable go on and do the purchase. Remember that owning a solar system will save you much more than leasing.

Solar-adds-home-value

(Source: Science Daily)

Buyout of a Solar Lease Contract

If you have a few years left to end your solar lease, you may consider prepaying the balance on the outstanding lease and have the solar panels either left at or lifted from the house. Your solar company must have included a buyout price and period in their contract.

Nevertheless, this might not often be the case. Typically, a buyout is granted after five to seven years of the lease. We would recommend that you carefully read your lease agreement for more information. 

It also stems from the initial process while hiring the leasing company. There are many mistakes that buyers do hence ending up with unreliable service providers. You should stay on the safe side that benefits you.

Transfer a Solar Panels System from One Residence to Another

In case you are relocating, some leasing firms offer an alternative to transferring a solar panel system from one residence to another. However, before the start of the process, you should ensure that the new rooftop is in excellent working condition to reinforce a rooftop solar system securely.

Plenty of solar leases come with an additional charge for the removal and reinstallation of the system. Fundamentally, you’ll require the confirmation of your homeowners’ association, utility firm, or local government commission, to set up a solar system on a new rooftop.

Transfer of a Solar Lease

Alternatively, you may consider transferring the lease to a new homeowner so that you can get out of the solar contract. So how do you do this? Several solar companies have a service transfer specialist who will assist you throughout the entire procedure of ensuring your lease is passed on to the new homeowner.

Regardless, some buyers are always reluctant to accept this solution. But, the good news is that you can minimize the selling price of the property by the amount of the transfer and wrap up the sale.

On the whole, you might want to look at a buyout first if you have plans of selling your residence soon. If you have the potentiality of a quick buyout, you can settle your lease and possess the solar panel system yourself. See why it is a good option to spend more and own the solar panel? It will save you the trouble when you need change. 

In addition, if you own solar panels, your home value goes up which is an advantage for you while selling. Normally, people are looking to purchase homes that have already installed solar panels to avoid the hustle of self-installation.

Meanwhile, if the amount of buyout is considerably less expensive compared to the lease period’s monthly payments, it’s an economically acceptable option to opt for.

Revoking Your Solar Lease Before the Setup Process

In case you wish to get out of a solar lease because you have regrets getting one, you might be able to revoke it before the solar panel system installation. The period to revoke leasing without any costs primarily relies on the policy of the solar company. That is why you should be very keen on the terms of the contract before signing.

Remember that the solar system is valuable in saving you electric costs by the use of renewable energy. When purchasing, most buyers ask what is a solar lease? While you may be duped into signing a lease, we’d love you to know that it is not the best long-term option. Whether to lease or buy solar should be your choice as a buyer. 

While revoking your lease, the time frame is 30 days after you subscribe to the solar lease agreement.

If you have signed the solar lease agreement just to realize later that you need to fix the roofing, what do you do next? In this case, the solar firm allows the end of the contract under the stipulation of “unforeseen and unanticipated additional costs.”

Substantially, before signing a solar lease, it is essential to consider all the options. Be sure to thoroughly go over all the details so that you can weigh all the options and be well-informed as to whether going solar is right for you.

Conclusion

It’s important to shop around as much as possible. Many times, it just takes finding the right company to work with. If you have a reputable installer, excellent solar panels, and great financing, chances are you will be happy with your service and you won’t want to get out of your contract early. However, if things go wrong and you want to opt out, it’s important to find out how to get out of a solar lease. 

It will help you analyze the solar lease agreement and see what option works best for you. We find that there are many solar lease disadvantages compared to the advantages. While hiring a solar provider they should give you all the options on whether to buy or lease solar and you decide. The goal is to get yourself premier solar that will be sufficient for your energy consumption and lower your electric bills.

A solar lease calculator will help you determine whether you will go for a lease or purchase the solar panels. First, you should be able to understand how the solar lease works.

If you need a reliable solar provider, then don’t, look further because Enlightened Solar is here! We have reliable services and have built our credibility over the years. Our clients in Orange County, California have testified to the best services that we offer. We understand all things solar and we shall give you the best advice and installation services at an affordable price.

Contact us today for a quote!