Solar panels in Albany, NY: Solar leasing vs system purchase

Live in Albany, NY? Thinking about installing solar panels? Thanks to the availability of solar panel leasing programs across the US, the support of federal & state incentives for solar energy, plus the unprecedentedly low price of solar panel technology, solar panels have never been a better deal for Albany residents. For those who are determined to go ahead with having a system installed, the main decision they will have to make is whether to purchase the system outright or to have it installed under a solar leasing program. This post takes a look at the pros and cons of each option, and also looks more generally at why a homeowner should consider going solar in Albany.

First: Why should I consider installing solar panels in Albany?

Albany New York

Albany, NY (Image via Wikipedia.)

When people choose to go solar, they tend to have 2 main motivations: Saving money, and doing the right thing for the environment. Fortunately, these 2 goals are now complementary.

Solar panels will save you money

Most Albany homeowners who are considering going solar are most likely thinking primarily about how installing solar panels will save them money. Right now, with generous federal and New York state incentives in place, solar panels can supply homes with electricity at rates lower than from electric utilities. This means that those who have panels installed will save money on their monthly power bills–the panels will supply the home with electricity, and whatever needs the panels do not meet will be met by power from the grid.

Installing solar panels in Albany helps to ‘green up’ NY’s electricity mix

Albany electricity generation mix

Albany’s electricity mix (Source:

If live in Albany, your electricity probably comes primarily from a mix of conventional hydroelectric power, nuclear power, gas and coal, with less than 4% coming from wind and solar power. By choosing to go solar, Albany residents take a small step in helping their state move towards a cleaner source of power.

Should you lease or purchase solar panels in Albany, NY?

Benefits of a solar lease

Solar Lease SavingsSolar leasing programs have revolutionized the solar market in the United States. Under these arrangements, a homeowner can have a system installed at no cost to them. The homeowner does not actually own the system, but instead purchases the electricity that it generates from the solar leasing company, who sell it at a rate that is lower than utility electricity rates–a win-win situation. This also means that the homeowner has no liabilities when it comes to maintaining the system–all maintenance and repairs are the responsibility of the solar leasing company, and it is in their best interest to keep the system in optimal working condition.

Benefits of purchasing a solar system

Thanks to generous tax credits through the federal government and the state of New York, purchasing a solar panel system in Albany has never been more affordable. For anyone who has the money to invest up-front, purchasing a system is a great investment option, with payback periods as low as 5-7 years (of a 25+ year lifespan). Once the system has paid itself off, the electricity that the system generates–requiring no fuel except for sunlight–is free.