Caveat emptor–basic economics on solar finance, and finance in general. If you pay interest on something that is higher than the inflation rate (perhaps minus the opportunity cost since you get to use the money saved on leasing that you would have otherwise spent upfront), then a solar system will have less total value in today’s dollars, over the lifetime of the system. Solar leasing is not the same as free solar. You can pay $0 upfront, but you will pay more than the upfront cost of the system over the lease term due to interest. For the same reason, the net present value is likely to be lower for leasing than it is for buying a system upfront. However, leasing has the advantage of a faster return on investment. The Real Price of Free Solar – Renewable Energy World.