What options are available to you to finance a solar power system for your home?
Our free online solar calculator shows you what sized system you need to wipe out your power bill and your costs and returns with solar power financing.
|This estimator was developed in partnership with the US Dept of Energy.|
This Solar Calculator will compute the size and estimated cost to install a solar energy system for your home or building. The solar calculator's financial analysis is based on energy bill savings you can expect and the net solar system cost, after tax credits and other incentives are applied. The solar calculator results are based on many assumptions and the limited data you will enter. An actual site assessment by a trained professional contractor will be needed to determine the actual costs and benefits of installing a solar energy system.
Financing Solar, Wind & Energy Efficiency Projects
Energy produced by solar or wind sources is generally more expensive than most utility-supplied power. But incentives available today can reduce the price by up to half if you install a solar or wind energy system, making it more affordable than ever. If the renewable energy system allows you to offset the higher cost utility power (usually called "tiered" rates), you could realize a net savings per month.
Rebates, Tax Credits, Renewable Energy Credits (REC, SREC)
and Other Financial Incentives for Sola & Wind Energy .... energy efficiency too
Today there are many state, federal and local incentives available to help pay for the cost of installing renewable energy systems. Our Solar Estimators take most of these incentives into account, and as part of your Estimate we offer links to Internet resources that explain the incentives in more detail. Also, please see our Resources & Links page for other resources. And, of course, Solar Pros are usually experts in rebates, tax incentives, Renewable Energy Credits (REC or SREC), and project financing -- all important aspects of your solar energy strategy.
There are Federal, state, local and utlity tax credits and incentives which may apply to many solar power, wind systems and other renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. And for business applications, an accelerated depreciation schedule is also available. To learn more about federal tax incentives go to our federal incentives and local incentives pages.
» Learn about energy efficiency programs
Solar energy systems are an asset that add value to your property -- in some states without increasing your property taxes. That�s right, solar energy systems are not subject to property tax in some states.
If you need to finance your system cost, solar, renewable and energy efficiency projects are usually eligible for home improvement loans; check with your financial institution regarding home equity loans or second mortgages.
Time-of-Use Metering (usally applicable to solar-electric PV systems)
During peak electric rates, in some areas you can more than double your money using renewable energy. Ask your installer about the benefits of time-of-use meters to learn more.
Solar Energy Equipment Leases
Considering a Solar Lease? » Things to consider when contemplating a solar lease
A "Solar Lease" is when someone else owns the solar energy equipment. You then agree to pay a monthly lease payment (for many years) to use the solar energy equipment. Often the lease payment escalates (increases) over time. These lease payments may be wholly or partially balanced by lower utility bills. Even though you may have been pitched a "no money down" solar lease, that lease comes with some drawbacks and pitfalls. A solar energy system is an investment and you should think like an investor: Ask yourself this basic question: Do you use a lease to procure other investments like stocks or bonds or real estate? » more about solar leases ....
Renewable Power Purchase Agreements
Your financial objectives can sometimes be met using a performance contracting model. By executing a Renewable Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), you can purchase the output of the system, without using your capital to purchase the system itself. Depending upon your situation, you may be able to purchase renewable power at a rate lower than you are currently paying to the local power company. Usually with a PPA the Solar Pro (or another third-party legal entity) retains ownership of the renewable energy system and sells power to you at a pre-determined price. This can result in tax savings and other financial benefits. These long-term agreements (usually 15 years) offer the ability to gain much of the strategic benefits of ownership, while saving up-front capital. Terms and conditions for Power Purchase Agreements vary so please consult with a Solar Pro to see what might work best for your situation. Our directory of Solar Pros will indicate if a particular Solar Pro offers PPA's.
Renewable Energy Certificates & Green Tags
Green Tags are a versatile new way for consumers and businesses to participate in the national transition to renewable energy. Green tags make it possible to support renewable energy regardless of whether your state is deregulating its energy markets. In some markets and situations Green Tags can be sold or traded. Check with a Solar Pro to see what might be available to you.