Solar Financing Guide for Homeowners

New guide helps homeowners make informed decisions about going solar

The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) has released a new guide to help homeowners navigate the complex landscape of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) system financing. The free online publication, titled A Homeowner’s Guide to Solar Financing: Leases, Loans and PPAs, will help homeowners make sound decisions and select the best financing option for their needs.

The guide describes three popular residential solar financing choices – leases, loans, and power purchase agreements (PPAs) – and explains the advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as how they compare to a direct cash purchase. It clarifies key solar financing terms and provides a list of questions homeowners should ask before deciding if and how to proceed with installing a solar system.

“There are lots of financing options for homeowners who might not be able to afford the upfront cash outlay to buy a system outright,” said Nate Hausman, CESA Project Manager and author of the solar guidebook. “However, not every financing option is right for everyone. This guide is designed to help.”

A much larger share of the public has explored installing a solar energy system as the cost of the technology has fallen. While the expanding solar market makes a residential solar system more affordable, the increasing number of vendors can make homeowners’ choices more complicated.  

“CESA is working with states to provide consumer-friendly information that can help speed the widespread adoption of solar energy,” remarked CESA Executive Director Warren Leon.

The full report is available here.

The Clean Energy States Alliance prepared the guide through the New England Solar Cost-Reduction Partnership, a project under the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge II.

About the Clean Energy States Alliance: The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) is a national nonprofit coalition of public agencies and organizations working together to advance clean energy. CESA members—mostly state agencies—include many of the most innovative, successful, and influential public funders of clean energy initiatives in the country. CESA works with state leaders, federal agencies, industry representatives, and other stakeholders to develop and promote clean energy technologies and markets. CESA facilitates information sharing, provides technical assistance, coordinates multi-state collaborative projects, and communicates the positions and achievements of its members. For more information, visit .

About the SunShot Initiative: The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at