SolarCity gets into the solar loan business

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As we’ve written about in the past, improved loan options will eventually win out over the solar leases that have become popular in the past few years. SolarCity recently announced that they are catching up with this trend with a new solar loan offer that is a departure from the power purchase agreement (solar lease) […]

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The California Roots of PACE Financing

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The ECOreport recently published an excellent story on the rise, fall and rise again of PACE programs. Property-assessed-clean-energy or PACE got it’s start in Berkeley, California when the then mayor’s Chief of Staff, Cisco DeVries, put the pieces together for the idea in 2007. PACE is a special tax assessment to help finance solar or other […]

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Video: Buy or Lease solar panels?

We recently updated our videos page, a place where we’ll aggregate some of our favorite informative videos. Here’s another one: Buy or lease solar panels?

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NREL: Banking on Solar and working to bring solar financing rates down

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), recently announced a Banking in Solar working group to address the challenges that homeowners face getting loans for rooftop solar projects. The end goal is to achieve mass adoption of solar loans, bringing down solar financing rates significantly. Some of the ongoing concerns for investors, […]

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Do solar leases deter potential home buyers?

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A recent Bloomberg article suggests some issues that customers have had with selling homes that have solar lease contracts attached to them. While it has been documented that solar panels have increased the value of homes in California by $5900 per kilowatt, the solar lease contracts could complicate things. Most notably, the article suggests: Solar […]

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Comparing solar leases to a solar loan

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As we mentioned in our previous post, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) offer Property Loan Insurance to approved lenders in a program known as Title I. This program protects lenders from risk of default on fixed-rate loans of up to $25,000 for home improvements. Solar qualifies […]

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While popularity of solar leases grows, alternatives emerge

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With some estimates as high as 75% of new solar installs financed through 3rd party ownership, it has become clear that the solar lease is quickly becoming the most popular way to pay for a solar installation. The obvious advantage of the solar lease is the fact that you don’t have to put any money […]

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A Better Way to Finance Solar PV for Homeowners

I wanted to take a moment and relay a well-researched article posted on ThinkProgress, written by Jesse Morris from the reputable Rocky Mountain Institute. He and some of his colleagues have recently delved their resources and research efforts into the concept of renewable energy-backed securities. Why is this worth breaking down for prospective residential PV owners pondering the “buy […]

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Is Solar Leasing More Expensive Than Necessary?

Before solar leasing came along, installing PV on a residential rooftop was expensive. The approach to achieving the allusive breaking point of “grid parity”, or when solar PV is the same cost or cheaper than fossil fuel generation, was to chip away at the expenses with government incentives. Rebates, small grants, and more recently renewable […]

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Maryland Supporting Lease and Buy Options Through Incentives

Homeowners in Maryland have several reasons to be optimistic about residential solar costs over the next year or two, as the state yet again ramps up its efforts to make PV more affordable. From our perspective, two state incentive programs – the Clean Energy Grant Program and the SREC market – offer an opportunity to […]

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