Should I get Solar Panels? Can I afford them?

Owned or Leased?
When you sell your home to a buyer who will need financing to purchase it, the appraiser has the final say in what the home is worth. Whether the solar array on your roof increases the appraised value will depend largely on whether or not you own the system. 

The most common solar panel ownership scenarios, according to the appraiser guidelines at, include: 
The panels are owned. Owned panels may be included in the appraised value of the property. The cost will be recouped over time.
The panels are leased or covered by a Power Purchase Agreement. Leased panels may not be included in the appraised value of the property.
The panels are financed as personal property. If the solar panels are financed as personal property (and therefore serve as collateral for the loan), they will do nothing to increase the value of the home.
The panels are financed as fixture to real estate. Panels that are considered fixtures (permanently affixed to the property) can be used in the appraisal but only if they can’t be repossessed should the seller default on the terms of the financing agreement.

Illinois Solar for All (ILSFA) helps make solar installations more affordable for income-eligible households and organizations through state incentives. ILSFA has programs for income-eligible homeowners and renters as well as non-profit organizations, and public facilities. Solar energy can help Illinois residents save money and protect them against increases in future energy costs and it’s good for the environment!