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Financing options for solar

Learn about financing, tax benefits and properly sizing your system

Calculate your solar savings potential.

An initial investment in clean energy can save you money for years to come. PG&E will help you make informed decisions to bring private rooftop solar and renewable energy to your home or business.

Buying, leasing and Power Purchasing Agreements (PPA) are the most popular financing options. Review our table to compare and gain helpful advice.

Find out what to do with your system if you move

If you own your renewable energy system, its value is incorporated into the purchase price of your home. A private rooftop solar system typically increases a home’s value and is viewed positively by prospective homebuyers.


Lease agreements and PPAs work differently than purchased systems. Coordinate with your service provider to transfer the lease or PPA obligation to the new homeowner. In some cases, you might be able to buy out the remainder of your contract.

State and federal governments offer incentives to help reduce the cost of installing your renewable energy system. Consult your personal tax advisor to find out whether you qualify. Get more information:

Tax credits for solar system purchase
DSIRE database of incentives for renewables & efficiency

PG&E has several incentive and other programs for customers who install a clean energy system. Visit Clean Energy Incentives and Programs.

The size of your renewable energy system affects your upfront costs as well as electricity costs. PG&E gives you the tools to help you select the system that’s right for your home or business. Deciding factors include your energy-use history, the size of your roof and whether you want to offset all or only a portion of your use.


We encourage you to reduce the size and cost of the renewable system needed for your home or business by completing energy-efficiency upgrades.

Learn about the Home Energy checkup
Visit Business Energy checkup


Estimate the size of system you need using the PG&E solar calculator.

Use the Solar Calculator

Solar calculator tips:

  • Be aware that solar generator system size is based on the amount of energy you want to offset. The recommended amount is 80 to 85 percent to maximize your savings and not lose the value of excess energy exported to the grid. The size is also calculated based on your energy use history or average bill.
  • View the estimated system details and costs associated with different financing options that are displayed.
  • Note the recommended photovoltaic (PV) solar system size, which refers to the number of panels and energy that the PV solar panels produce. This is the estimate needed for your home. The average size of a residential system is between four and five kilowatts (kW). If the system size proposed by your contractor differs greatly from this, have a conversation with your contractor about why.
  • The amount of physical space a solar panel system requires is also important. As a general rule, you need approximately 100 square feet of roof space for each kW installed.

important notice icon Note: There is no financial benefit to installing a system larger than your home needs. Compensation for excess generation through Net Surplus Compensation (NSC) is set by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) at roughly two to four cents per kWh. This amount does not justify the cost of an oversized system.


Network upgrades might be needed before you can install a system. Your contractor works with PG&E to determine whether upgrades are required and to inform you of any additional costs.

More solar resources

Download the solar checklist

You can print and use this checklist to help make planning installation of your new photovoltaic solar system easier.

Download the Customer Welcome Kit

Your guide to Net Energy Metering and the solar process

For Contractors: Visit Standard NEM Interconnections

Learn about Standad Net Energy Metering Interconnections