Guide for prospective solar homeowners released

The debate as to whether it is best for homeowners to lease, take out a loan, sign a PPA or purchase outright a residential solar array is gaining in prominence in the U.S. solar market. In fact, NPR recently ran a piece on the subject and mainstream media is increasingly picking up on the issue.

Today CESA released a guide to assist homeowners to make the decision over how to best finance a solar system, providing clarification as to commonly used terms and a detailed questionnaire homeowners can use before making a decision. The guide was produced by CESA with funding from the DOE’s Sunshot Initiative.

“There are lots of financing options for homeowners who might not be able to afford the upfront cash outlay to buy a system outright,” said Nate Hausman, CESA Project Manager and author of the solar guidebook. “However, not every financing option is right for everyone. This guide is designed to help.”

The report is available for free download and CESA said it hopes it will increase solar adoption rates in the U.S.

CESA is working with states to provide consumer-friendly information that can help speed the widespread adoption of solar energy,” said CESA Executive Director Warren Leon.

The guide includes eight questions homeowners can ask themselves as to the decision to go solar and a further 14 questions guiding consumers through the financing process, to ensure they receive vital information pertaining to the contract they may be ready to sign.

Issues such as whether homeowners can benefit from state or federal subsidies when taking out solar finance, insurance, O&M and contract details are explored in the guide.

GTM Research published a prediction last year that 2014 would be the peak year for solar leases. Solar lease providers have been increasingly introducing solar loans into the market.