Finding the Right Solar Financing for Your Home
- Cash purchase
- Solar lease
- Solar loan
The Cash Purchase: Investing in Your Home's Value Today
Buying solar panels with a cash purchase is the most straightforward path to going solar. Plus, the total costs of solar panels and installation can be reduced by as much as 50% through tax incentives and local rebates. The U.S. federal government offers homeowners a big tax deduction with the 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC), and you can increase this savings with additional state and local government incentives. Even more exciting is that owning solar panels can increase your home's value by an average of $17,000, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report.
Example Buyer Profile
Buying solar panels with a cash purchase may make sense if you:
- Have cash on hand
- Would like to own your solar system outright and be free of ongoing payments
- Want to benefit from Federal, state, and local tax incentives
- Are interested in increasing your home's value with solar panels
The Solar Lease: Offering Low Payments and a Performance Guarantee
If you prefer a low monthly fee for access to solar energy, then a solar lease may be the way to go. A lease requires no down-payment and offers affordable monthly payments. Solar leases may also include a performance guarantee or regular maintenance.
Some solar companies offer an early buy-out opportunity after a few years of leasing your solar energy system. This can be a great option to have if you want to buy the solar system before the end of the lease term. At the end of the solar lease term, you typically can renew, buy, or return the solar system.
Example Lease Profile
Leasing solar panels may make sense if you:
- Have a good credit score
- Want a manageable monthly bill
- Would like to benefit from a performance guarantee
The Solar Loan: Making a Solar Purchase Affordable
A solar loan is yet another solar financing option to manage the cost of solar panels and installation. There are two common loans to finance residential solar panels: an unsecured solar loan or a home equity loan.
A solar power company with strong lender relationships can help you get an unsecured solar loan for up to 20 years. With a fully amortizing loan, you can enjoy low payback periods and low interest rates. Solar loans come in a range of term lengths to fit your needs.
A home equity loan makes sense if you have home equity available. This type of solar loan allows you to take advantage of tax-deductible mortgage interest. Be sure to check with your tax advisor to see if this is available to you.
Both loans allow you to take advantage of tax incentives such as the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to help reduce solar costs.
Example Solar Loan Profile
Financing solar panels with a loan may make sense if you:
- Need to spread out costs to own your solar panels
- Want all of the benefits of ownership, including tax benefits
- Want to own the system free and clear at the end of the loan's term
Solar Financing Makes it Easy to Go Solar Today
Learn more about SunPower® solar power financing options for homeowners.
Additional Resources for Solar Financing Research:
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency
- Energy Efficient Mortgages
- Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing