Residential Solar Photovoltaics: Comparison of Financing Benefits, Innovations, and Options

This report examines relatively new, innovative financing methods for residential photovoltaics (PV) and compares them to traditional self-financing methods. It provides policymakers with an overview and comparative analysis of several residential PV financing mechanisms, including: home equity loans; outright cash purchases; third party residential leases and power purchase agreements; utility loans; public-private co-financing; revolving loans; and property assessed clean energy (PACE). Policymakers interested in supporting PV in their jurisdiction could consider the various financing options analyzed in this report, evaluate those that make the most sense for their constituents, and choose how to support the mechanism(s) that best fits their needs.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Bethany Speer
October, 2012