If you have a friend or family member who has had solar panels on their house for several years, chances are that they are actually leasing their system from a large provider.
Nowadays, it’s easier for homeowners to get grants or loans for their solar panel equipment. But this wasn’t always the case, leaving many solar panel users stuck in solar leases.
If you are currently struggling with this dilemma, you’ve likely asked yourself if there’s a way to get out of your current lease.
Unless some kind of legal action is taken, this can be a difficult endeavor. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of options.
Reasons for Getting Out
There are many reasons why solar panel users want to get out of their lease, especially with the changes our world has faced in recent months. Let’s explore a few of the potential reasons you might have for wanting to get out.
Many people are out of jobs or 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 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.
Maybe you got a new job offer somewhere else and have no choice but to move. This is clearly an excellent reason for wanting out of your current lease.
With that being said, you may want to take your solar panels with you to your home. 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 buy out 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.
You may have discovered 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.
It’s important to communicate your displeasure for your service, as long as it is legitimate and within reason.
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 log of the issues you have faced since signing the contract.
This will make it easier to show your reasoning for wanting to get out of the lease.
Canceling After Installation
Let’s assume that you’ve tried contacting your leasing company to get out of your current lease. Let’s also assume that you didn’t have any luck in doing so.
If you’re selling your home, you shouldn’t have any trouble transferring your lease to the new homeowner. If that isn’t something the new homeowner is interested in, there is a good chance that you’ll be able to buy out 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 actually 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 to you cancel your lease early.
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.
With the right amount of research, you can look forward to enjoying the many benefits of a solar panel system.
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