Florida Solar Panels

Floridians Can Now Lease Their Solar Panels

Sunnova Energy Corporation is including solar leases as part of its solar offerings in Florida as a way to address the growing energy needs of homeowners.

This was announced last week by Sunnova, a leading US residential solar and energy storage service provider. The company entered the Florida market a few weeks ago with a solar finance agreement offering.

William J. Berger, the Chief Executive Officer of Sunnova Energy Corporation, said that the company is ecstatic about offering two options to Floridian homeowners in order to power their homes.

He further stated that they are looking forward to working with their partners in Florida so as to provide competitive and clean opportunities to homeowners, which will reduce grid consumption and allow for better control over electricity bills.

Regulatory Green Light 

Just recently, the Florida Public Service Commission unanimously voted to eliminate ambiguity that was preventing companies from selling home-based solar lease products. This was done after the Commission determined that a lease agreement does not amount to a retail sale of electricity.

Floridians had no option to lease solar systems prior to this action as there was always a fear of violating onerous utility regulations (federal regulations are being eliminated across the board as well which began in 2017). Now, Florida homeowners can freely take part in the offerings made by Sunnova to lease rooftop solar equipment without the worry of being non-compliant with any of the state regulations.

Chief Marketing Officer for Sunnova Energy Corporation, Michael Grasso said that the Commission’s decision has upheld the belief that consumers and markets should be allowed to decide the best possible energy solutions for their needs.

Sunnova is currently offering two new plans for customers in Florida to have a rooftop solar system. They can either lease their systems through Sunnova’s Easy Save plan or they can own their systems by using Sunnova’s Easy Own plan.

Which is a better option with solar panels – leasing or buying?

The chief difference between leasing a solar PV system and buying it is ownership. When you buy a solar panel system through a solar loan or by paying outright cash, you gain ownership of the asset. However, on leasing a system you have to sign over the rights of ownership to a third party through a power purchase agreement or PPA.

Many factors such as maintenance, financial offsets, cost, terms, and savings/returns on investment of your solar panel system are affected by this distinction. In addition, not every company can offer solar leases and/or PPAs. It is important that you choose a provider who meets your financing options.

You should choose a solar lease/PPA when:

  • You want to use the system to generate electricity from a renewable source rather than to maximize the financial benefits achieved by installing a solar panel system
  • You do not want the hassle and responsibility of paying for repair and maintenance of a solar panel system
  • You are not the beneficiary of any state or federal investment tax credits by way of installing solar panel systems
  • You do not have the patience to wait for financial benefits or tax credits until next year

Solar leases and PPAs can be renewed after the agreement expires, which generally takes up to 20 to 25 years. You also have an option of purchasing the system on expiration.