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Have you ever thought about having your very own solar system — that is, solar panel system? You may see ads urging homeowners to “go solar” — use renewable energy, buy less electricity from the utility and maybe get a tax break. There are several ways to get solar power at home: you can buy a rooftop system, lease a system, or sign a power purchase agreement (PPA) to buy power a system produces. If you’re thinking of using solar power at home, consider the costs and benefits of the arrangements:

If you buy, you:

  • pay the cost of the entire system, perhaps by financing through a home equity loan, a loan from the company or your bank
  • can use all the power the system produces
  • may be eligible for federal, state or local tax credits or other incentives

If you lease, you:

  • sign a  contract to use a system a company installs on your home
  • can use all the power the system produces
  • pay a monthly leasing fee that may increase over time
  • probably aren’t eligible for tax benefits or incentives

If you have a PPA, you:

  • sign a contract to buy power from a system a company installs on your home
  • don’t automatically get all the power the system produces
  • pay for power at a rate the PPA provider sets, which may be lower than the utility company’s rate
  • probably aren’t eligible for tax benefits or incentives

Use our information and tips to learn more about home solar options and making choices that are good for the environment, and your wallet.

Tagged with: energy, green, home, shopping
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Money & Credit


Ray should not be on the roof, at 80 years ove age.

...all these comedians out of work and you are trying to be funny....

What is the avg. cost of a solar system when purchased by a home owner.

Costs vary depending on the system’s size, but can typically add up to about as much as a new mid-size car. Read more in our article about Solar Power for Your Home.

I recently(March, 2015) purchased(financed) a solar system and have nothing but rave reviews for switching to solar. The credits keep adding up, and I am on my third month of no electric bill. I am using my money I saved on solar from the electric company to pay double on my solar loan. I'm really enjoying producing my own power and getting a surplus credit every month to roll over to the winter months when the sun isn't as productive during the shorter winter days.

Can you show pix's of roof top systems-'

The Department of Energy has information about solar energy systems and some pictures of systems.

what about: companys that install system, you don't pay anthing , they get to keep any rebate money in echange for their costs. is this a scam?

If you choose to lease a system, or to sign a power purchase agreement (PPA), a company will install a system on your roof. You won't own the system, but you can arrange with the company to get power the system produces.

If there are rebates or tax breaks for the owner of a system, you won't get them. The company that owns the system will get them.

Read the article about Solar Power for Your Home for more tips about what to look for if you're thinking of buying or leasing a system or signing a PPA.

I need help, I signed an agreement with solar company to purchase a PPA, and they told me I would not have a lien put on my home..., Now that I am refinancing they lien comes up. The bank says it is a lien, the solar company says it is a UCC Fixture filing; a parsing of words if you ask me...additionally, a third party wants to charge me $200.00 to take it off my title, most banks I think charge $48.00. Also my credit union was caught in a lie, they said I needed to take it off because they needed to be first in line..., however, it is a chain, no order at all, and if it was an order they would not be second but first because they are the first loan company and actually have an interest in the property, the solar company just has panels on the roof but in the PPA they want you to sign away 20 years of your life and try and get a stake in time and "by the way" Gods sun for something they should not even be asking for... Long story short this company has five or six or more 2, 3 or 4th parties, and most being other solar company's and they keep changing names.....This can't be legal....congress needs to sign a law in favor of the consumers fast.....I need to sue...

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