How To Pay

Despite the diverse reasons for purchasing a solar system, a common thread exists when it comes to deciding - what's this going to cost me?

There are now options that allow you to take advantage of affordable financing on top of the available incentives that make choosing solar power easier than ever.

Basic Financing Methods

Cash up Front:
Good option for homeowners who have accumulated comfortable reserves and live in an energy market where PV investment returns exceed yields by conventional investments.

First Mortgage and Refinancing:
Typical home mortgages are often the very best financing arrangement in which the interest is tax deductible. The additional dollars added to your mortgage payment is typically less than your current electric bill, saving you money every month.

Home Equity Line of Credit:
For those homeowners who have built enough equity a home equity line of credit (HELOC) allows you to borrow as needed against the equity in your home. Although the interest rate may vary, they are often tax deductible.

Credit Cards:
The high interest rates and non tax-deducitible payments of credit cards make them a secondary choice for financing a solar power system.

Power Purchase Agreement (PPA):
In a PPA the provider finances, installs, owns and operates a renewable energy system on your property with no capital investment from you. You are only billed for the actual electrical output, usually at a discounted price per kWh with locked in rates. At certain milestones, you can purchase the PV system at a discount or elect to continue the agreement.

Bank secured and unsecured loans:
Most secured loans are home equity based and may be tax deductible. Interest incurred from unsecured loans is not tax deductible.

Vendor Financing:
Some PV module manufacturers offer financing directly to their customers at low monthly payments.

Utility and State Loan Programs:
A number of states and utilities have established loan programs to help homeowners purchase PV systems.

Associations Financing:
Electric and Gas Industries Association (EGIA) www.egia.com provides financing to its contractor members. This is through its partnership with GE Money and GEOSmart Sustainable Financing Solutions program.

Local Government Loans:
An exciting new development in residential PV financing that is becoming more widespread. It allows municipalities to create special tax assessment districts in which homeowners can borrow money from the local jurisdiction and pay it back over time through their property taxes.

Energy Efficient Mortgages:
For homeowners who want to finance energy efficiency measures e.g. Solar in new or existing homes. Offered through FHA or VA Programs.

Operating Lease:
Like leasing a vehicle, you pay a monthly payment to rent the solar panels. Lease payments are usually at or below utility costs. The leasing company uses tax incentives, Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), and depreciation expenses to fund the program. Although leases do not exist in all states, programs are being developed as states improve their rebate programs.