If someone were to decide to purchase a system over leasing one, the next step is to look at how they will purchase it. If they finance, there are dealer fees making the system more expensive. If they go cash, no dealer fees to worry about and makes the system less expensive.
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR! There are companies that will show finance pricing and if a person decides to go cash, the company may take $1,000 or $2,000 off but that doesn’t mean that is a good deal.
Dealer fees can go up into the 20-30% range of the system cost. For example, a $30,000 solar system could cost $7,500 in dealer fees at 25%. Companies/reps may only offer a couple thousand off to go cash, giving them more money in their pocket. Is that a terrible thing? If they do their job right and build the system appropriately to save, maybe not. However, the purpose of Ask Anything Solar is to be transparent.
Are dealer fees terrible? Depends how someone looks at it. They are high, but at the same time without the finance companies, there would be no low interest rates or NO money down opportunities to get into solar and save. Even with them, people can still save with solar. After all, the finance companies are taking a high risk in financing the solar projects. So there must be some give and take. The nice thing about solar financing is the interest rates are low and why not use that and hold on to your cash? People will need to see what is most beneficial for their finances.
Another option, look into refinancing the home and putting the solar system under the refinance to dodge that large dealer fee. Of course there are usually fees when refinancing but they should be less. The goal is to get a lower mortgage rate, lower payment and solar. WIN! However, everything is situational with what’s happening with interest rates and of course all the numbers MUST make sense.