U.S. Department of Energy

Financing and Contracting

Photo of two males with safety gear mounting a rectagular-shaped solar panel on a roof.

Requiring only a fraction of the initial investment associated with purchasing a photovoltaic system outright, solar lease options allow residential customers to reduce the payback time needed to break even on installed solar panels. Photo from Dennis Schroeder, NREL PIX 20286

DOE is working to increase the number of photovoltaic (PV) financing solutions and the quality of options available to consumers. By educating lenders and jurisdictions on the benefits of PV financing structures, the Solar Program helps make popular solar financing models more widely available.

Recently, innovative business and financial models have broadened the market for solar. Options such as solar PV leasing, community solar, and power purchase agreements have made solar energy systems more affordable for homeowners and businesses.

Current Efforts

Below are examples of awardees, funded by SunShot, that are working to develop innovative financing and contracting models:

These awardees are working to reduce balance of systems costs by lowering the upfront investment required to own a solar energy system.