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May 30, 2023

Tesla Wants You To Rent Their Solar Panels, But Nobody Is Buying Them!

When it comes to selling residential solar panels, most installers are running into one big problem: no one is buying. Many consumers don’t see a need for it and others think the upfront cost is prohibitive. While some see renting their panels as the solution, the majority of companies that have tried this haven’t seen much success either. Even Tesla, who has launched their home leasing program in the past few months and expanded access to it. In our latest blog article, we outline why you might not want to buy a Tesla solar panel and instead rent them instead.

What is Tesla’s Home Solar Leasing Program?

Tesla launched their home solar leasing program in late 2017, which enabled customers that own a Tesla car to lease their solar panels, instead of buying them outright. They currently have a network of 14 different solar partners, and with each one, they offer a different solar lease program. The different lease options provided by Tesla include a lease where they will buy back the panels at the end of the lease term, or a cash-out option where you can get your panels removed and return them to Tesla. Tesla is looking at this as an extension of their current car buying model. Since they sell and service their cars through their network of Tesla stores, they see their home solar as a similar service. Though the company has discussed this idea in the past, it may have been partially inspired by the acquisition of SolarCity, where they bought a number of the company’s assets, including the lease program and the assets of its energy storage business.

Why You Might Not Want To Rent A Tesla Panel

When it comes to renting solar panels, the big draw is the ability to get them installed for no upfront cost and then have the electricity produced from them be free. This is an attractive option for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money upfront, or for those who have solar panels that need replacing, but aren’t ready to shell out the money to do so. This is also an option that enables you to get solar panels without having to also handle the hassle of purchasing, installing and maintaining them. Tesla’s own leasing program looks attractive, but there are a few reasons you might want to skip this option. One is that home solar is not seen as a sexy product, and thus is not very widely adopted. The other is the high cost of the products that go into this offering, which is yet another factor that might keep it from being widely adopted.

Tesla Says They Are Targeting “Highly Unprofitable” Customers

Tesla said that they are targeting customers who have “high unprofitability,” but what does this mean? The current cost of solar electricity in most parts of the US is less than 2 cents per kWh, and in some states, even in a sunny area like California, it’s as low as 1.2 cents. When you factor in the cost savings that come from not paying any money upfront, this means that you can turn a profit simply by going solar. Tesla said in their FAQ that they are targeting customers with a “before tax cash out amount that is highly unprofitable.” They go on to state that “In other words, these customers have a solar power system that produces power at a loss, and our leasing program will cover the costs of ownership for the remaining lease term.” This suggests that there are customers out there with solar panels that are producing a loss, and that instead of them having to cover the cost of the system, they can instead get a free lease from Tesla. If true, this could open up a new market of customers with very low electricity bills.

There Is A Better Way To Buy Solar Energy

Tesla is looking to make money by selling their home solar panels, but why not just buy a set of solar panels instead? The two biggest reasons to buy solar panels instead of renting them are that you get a discount that comes from being an early adopter and you can then sell the extra electricity produced by your panels back to the grid. This means that you can get free electricity while also making money by selling it back to your utility. This is something that happens today in certain states, but it’s not an option for everyone. If you buy solar panels, you will be able to get a better deal and you can be sure that you are getting the most out of your investment. Buying solar panels is also a great way to help the environment by reducing your carbon footprint and helping to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.


Tesla’s home solar leasing program might sound cool, but there are a few reasons you might want to skip it. The most important reason is that home solar adoption is not very high, and other reasons include high costs, low demand for Tesla cars and the high cost of the home solar products that go into their offering. If you do decide to buy a Tesla solar panel, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

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