U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Solar Photovoltaic Financing: Residential Sector Deployment

This report presents the information that homeowners and policy makers need to facilitate PV financing at the residential level. The full range of cash payments, bill savings, and tax incentives is covered, as well as potentially available solar attribute payments. Traditional financing is also compared to innovative solutions, many of which are borrowed from the commercial sector.

Together, these mechanisms are evaluated for their effectiveness in making the economic case for a residential PV installation, given its high up-front costs. These programs are presently limited to select locations around the country. By calling attention to these innovative initiatives, this report aims to help policy makers understand the breadth of options that may benefit homeowners interested in installing a residential PV system. To prepare this report, NREL interviewed a number of industry professionals directly engaged in the implementation of these financial models and supplemented this information with in-house research.

March, 2009
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Jason Coughlin and Karlynn Cory (NREL)