An initial investment in renewable energy for your home can save you money with years of clean energy generation.
This page provides an overview of the financing options for solar and clean energy technology, along with tax benefits and other incentives for going green. You also will find tips on choosing the proper size for the renewable energy system that will power your home. Whether you choose to purchase your own system and save over a lifetime of use or lease a renewable system with predictable and low monthly payments, PG&E is here to help you make informed decisions about bringing solar and renewable energy to your home.
There are many ways to help finance the installation of a solar or renewable energy system for your home. Buying, leasing and Power Purchasing Agreements (PPA) are the three most popular choices. We have put together useful information and tips to help you weigh your options.
|BUY||LEASE||POWER PURCHASING AGREEMENT (PPA)|
|OVERVIEW||Purchasing a renewable energy system from an approved contractor or manufacturer means paying for it up front or financing your purchase through a bank loan. You own the entire solar energy system, which most manufacturers guarantee for up to 25 years.||Leasing allows you to “rent" the renewable energy system for a set period of time. Generally, you pay a fixed monthly rate no matter how much energy the system produces each month.||Similar to leasing, a third party owns and maintains the renewable energy system on your behalf. You agree to pay for the electricity generated at a rate per kilowatt-hour (kWh) specified in your agreement.|
|BENEFITS|| || || |
|ADDITIONAL COSTS|| || || |
|RISKS|| || || |
|ADVICE||You may be able to finance your purchase of a solar or renewable energy system by taking a home equity loan or secure line of credit, which is often eligible for tax deductions. Be sure to speak with your tax advisor about the implications before your purchase.||Agreements are long term, and specific fees may rise over time. Be sure to understand any changes in your monthly rate over the lifetime of the solar lease agreement, and ask about purchase options. Prepaid leases may also help reduce your monthly payments.||Agreements are long-term, and specific fees may rise over time. Be sure to understand any fluctuations in the price per kWh rate over the lifetime of the PPA contract, and ask about purchase options|
If you have purchased a renewable energy system, its value is incorporated into the purchase price of your home. Generally, a solar system will increase a home’s value and is viewed positively by potential homebuyers. If you have a lease agreement or PPA, you will need to work with the service provider to transfer the lease or PPA obligation to the new homeowner. In some cases, you may be able to buy out the remainder of the contract at fair market value.
State and federal governments, along with PG&E, offer incentives to help reduce the cost of installing a solar or renewable energy system. Consult your personal tax advisor to find out if you qualify, or review the information on the following web sites:
PG&E gives you the tools to help select the size of the renewable energy generation system right for your home based on your usage history, the size of your roof and whether you want to offset all or only a portion of your usage.
Reduce the size and cost of the renewable system needed for your home by first completing energy-efficiency upgrades.
Estimate the size of your system using the handy solar calculator.
The amount of physical space a solar panel system will require also is important. As a rule of thumb, you will need approximately 100 square feet of roof space for each kilowatt installed.