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Homeowners can buy or lease solar systems

Solar energy is a hot ticket in Southern Nevada.

Residents can buy or lease their solar energy systems much as they’d purchase or lease a vehicle.

“Ownership is always best, because when you own a solar energy system you control all of the different facets of what you actually own,” said Zeb Nagy, president of locally headquartered solar energy systems seller American Patriot Solar. “When you own it, you control the equipment, how large of a system you get, and most importantly the terms in which you pay for it.

“With a lease, you get benefits from generating solar energy, but don’t get to choose the equipment used or control the terms in which you pay the lease. Basically, whether you lease or own will depend on whether you have a federal tax liability and can take advantage of the tax credits for owning a solar energy system.”

Nagy said most homeowners know solar energy system ownership benefits include drastically reduced monthly energy bills and thousands of dollars in tax benefits. But most homeowners don’t know the specifics on these benefits.

“It is up to you to be a smart consumer and ask questions when a solar energy consultant comes to analyze your home and provide an estimate,” Nagy said. “Do you know that your roof space dictates the size of the system you have and how much it faces the sun during the day will dictate how much energy you generate? We use a tremendous amount of power for our homes in Southern Nevada, much more than most other cities in the United States. Make sure you ask enough questions to get what really works for your budget and your home.”

When determining whether to buy or lease a solar energy system, Nagy recommends homeowners evaluate whether they could benefit from the tax benefits of ownership.

“Any U.S. citizen that has an income has a federal tax liability,” he said. “So, if you purchase a system for $25,000, you are eligible for approximately 30 percent, or approximately $8,000 in tax credits and can take those credits over multiple years. That makes the system approximately $17,000. Conversely, leasing will cost you about $100 per month, but after the average lease term of 20 years you will have spent approximately $34,000 on the same system. The leasing company gets the advantage of the tax credit and is able to take a capital depreciation on the system as well.”

Homeowners considering solar energy system purchases should also consider how long they plan to stay in their homes, Nagy said.

“The average homeowner is in their home for approximately six to eight years, but the average lease term for a solar energy system is 20 years,” he said. “If you purchase a system, it becomes an asset when you sell your home. If it is leased, the new homebuyer has to agree to assume the terms of the lease. If the new buyer doesn’t agree to the lease and you aren’t in the window for a buyout, you can’t sell your home to that buyer because there is a lien attached to the home.”

To schedule a free in-home consultation and, call American Patriot Solar at 702-227-9205 or visit www.apsolar.com.

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