Category Archives: Solar Financing

What happens if your tax liability is too small to claim the Investment Tax Credit for solar?

investment tax credit

The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a generous incentive from the federal government. It was put in place to encourage uptake of solar energy and other renewable energy systems in 2006. It has been tremendously successful in this goal: the number of solar installations in the US has increased 1,600% since the ITC was introduced.

Many EnergySage customers quickly understand the potential benefits of the ITC, but have questions when it comes to the particulars of how it operates. Frequently, we field questions about whether or not they can claim the ITC at all, and when and how it can be applied to their tax bills. Continue reading

New Report Says Solar Panels Increase Home Value

Solar increases property value graphic EnergySage

Installing solar panels can significantly increase your property’s value, according to a new study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBL). The report, titled “Selling into the sun: Price premium analysis of a multi-state dataset of solar homes“, builds on previous research which concluded that homes with solar panels in California sold for more than those without.

Do solar panels add value to a house?

In addition to California, the new study investigates home pricing trends Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New York and Pennsylvania by analyzing the sales of over 20,000 homes in these states. LBL’s analysis of the housing markets in these other states shows that the premium paid for homes with solar is not a phenomenon isolated to the Golden State. The clear takeaway: solar panels really do add value to a home.

If you are thinking about purchasing a solar system for your home, the study’s conclusions should give you a boost of confidence that you are making a smart investment. LBL finds that homes with solar panels will benefit from a ‘solar premium’ when they are sold because buyers are willing to pay more for a home with solar panels. Continue reading

How to Calculate Solar Panel Payback Period (ROI)

Understanding the solar panel payback period

The financial benefits of going solar are now well documented. Solar panel systems actually function as investments with strong rates of return, and homeowners generating solar electricity can avoid paying increased utility rates by eliminating their electricity bills. According to a 2015 report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, installing solar panels on your home can even increase your property values. If you’re reviewing multiple quotes, there are plenty of metrics that can help you make a decision about which solar option is best for you, but studies show most solar shoppers rely on one metric in particular: the solar panel payback period or break-even point.

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Understanding Your Sunrun Solar Lease, PPA and Solar Contract Agreement

Comparing Sunrun offer EnergySage

Sunrun is one of the largest solar installation companies in the country and has partnerships with organizations like Comcast, Major League Baseball, and Costco. The company primarily offers solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) to homeowners, although there are also cash purchase and solar loan options. Are you considering a lease or PPA offer from Sunrun? Before you sign on the dotted line, review EnergySage’s guide to evaluating your Sunrun offer.

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SolarCity MyPower Loan: Interest rate explained and other takeaways

SolarCity MyPower loan reviews and explanation graphic

In the past, solar was out of reach for most homeowners. Loans were difficult to access, and upfront equipment and installation costs were too high for most people to pay in cash. By bringing the third-party lease to the solar market, SolarCity made solar accessible to the masses and enabled homeowners to go solar with no money down. In October 2014, SolarCity launched its first solar loan option: the MyPower loan product.

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Worcester Solar Panels: Comparing Interest in Boston vs. Worcester

boston worcester solar activity EnergySage

Solar power has become increasingly popular in recent years, and Massachusetts is doing its part to contribute to the solar revolution – the Bay State has the number six spot on the Solar Energy Industries Association’s top 10 states for solar power. The major motivator: high electricity prices and some of the best financial incentives for solar in the country. The average Massachusetts homeowner can save tens of thousands of dollars on their electricity bills over the lifetime of their solar energy system.

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How to Read Your SolarCity PPA Contract, Lease Agreement or Quote

how to review a solarcity quote for lease or ppa

If you’ve ever thought about installing solar panels on your home, you’ve probably heard of SolarCity. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, SolarCity is the largest solar company in the country, and primarily offers solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) to homeowners. Do you have a SolarCity proposal in hand? Read on for a guide on how to evaluate your SolarCity quote.

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Where Are Solar Panels Made and Should You Care?

American-made vs imported solar panels with energysage

One of the things you may have questions about as you shop around for a solar system is where the solar panels are manufactured. This article will help you determine whether a panel’s country of manufacture should be a key consideration for you.

Does it matter where solar panel companies are based and where they make the panels?

When it comes to quality, the mention of any country’s name will evoke an association; each nation has its own brand image, which may or may not be justified. You as a smart solar shopper, however, will want to look at the facts in order to make a more well-informed decision. Our recommendation is to judge each panel by its own merits. (A good place to start is EnergySage’s Solar Buyer’s Guide.) Continue reading

Questions to Ask Your Solar Loan Company

questions to ask your solar financing company EnergySage

Going solar is like all big home improvement project – the more questions you ask beforehand, the better prepared you’ll be on installation day. And while most homeowners understand the importance of vetting potential solar installers, they may not realize it’s equally as important to fully vet their loan provider too. There are many financiers throughout the country that offer solar loans with varying terms and conditions, but how do you determine which is best for you? Here’s a quick checklist of the top questions to ask your solar financing company before you sign an agreement with them:

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Mass Solar Loan: Banks, Prices and Program Details

Explaining the mass solar loan program graphic EnergySage

For homeowners in Massachusetts, finding a low-interest loan to finance their solar power system just got a lot easier thanks to the launch of the Mass Solar Loan program. The program, jointly administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), leverages $30 million in public funds to make low-interest, fixed-term solar loans more accessible for homeowners in Massachusetts.

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