Solar Financing Guide for Homeowners

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 on CESA’s website. 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.