Pricing PV Systems and Financing Ideas
The cost of a PV system depends on the system size, equipment options (panels and inverters), permitting costs, and labor costs. Prices vary depending on other factors as well, such as whether your home is new, where the system is installed on your premise, the PV manufacturer, and other factors.
Because of the declining rebates in many regions, the sooner you install your system, the better your incentive and rebate will be.
Depending on your pre-installation electricity usage, you can expect rates of return between 9% and 14% on your PV installation. Please see Calculators to estimate the full cost of your solar system.
Financing a Solar Energy System
Solar customers have multiple options when financing their solar energy systems:
Home Equity Loans - Many customers go through their commercial lenders to finance their solar energy systems, and home equity loans have been the most common method for homeowners to purchase their solar systems. To find out more about home equity loans, you can contact your local providers, though many solar contractors have partnerships with existing lenders.
Power Purchase Agreements - Under a "PPA," a third party owns and maintains the customer solar system, selling the kilowatt-hours back to the customer. Thus, customers who opt for a solar PPAtypically have low capital costs and pay only for the electricity their solar systems generate. Both SolarTech and the Rahus Institute offer helpful guides and additional information on solar PPAs.
Solar Leases - By leasing a solar system, customers can get the benefits of owning a solar system without the capital costs. Solar customers opting for solar leases simply rent the solar system from a company as they would any other home appliance while earning the benefits from the electricity the system produces. Solar leases are attractive options for home or business owners that plan to at their business or office for less than five years. For more reading, Mother Jones Magazine has an excellent February 2010 article titled: "If You Can't Afford to Buy a PV System, Consider Renting One".
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) - Solar customers likewise may have the option to finance their solar systems through their local governments. Local governments can create property tax finance districts to issue loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy such as solar PV systems. PACE allows local governments to provide low-cost, 20-year loans to eligible property owners seeking to install these technologies. The solar customer then pays more on the annual property tax bill to repay the loan. The loans are permanently fixed to real property, so that residents need not worry about their system's break-even point and can pass the loan payments on to subsequent buyers of the property. Renewable Funding offers helpful additional information about PACE.
This information originates from the Go Solar California! website: http://www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov/solar_basics/pricing_financing.php