Residential PV Solar Homeowner Financing


Courteousy of Rich Hessler Solar Sales Training


Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae is partnering with utility companies to provide low interest, unsecured consumer loans to utility customers for the purpose of installing residential energy efficiency improvements. The residential Energy Efficiency Improvements loan program provides a below-market interest rate and promotes a bundled approach to efficiency upgrades, solar, water and space heaters as well as photovoltaic power systems (on and off grid) are eligible technologies for this loan program.

Eligible borrowers:
-Certain utility customers
-Purchasers of off grid systems

Eligible systems:
-Energy efficient upgrades
-Solar water and space heaters
-Photovoltaic systems

Loan amount: $15,000
Term: 15 years - unsecured

Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac’s programs are similar to Fannie Mae’s, they encourage energy efficiency by providing specific criteria for energy efficient mortgages (EEMs) that Freddie Mac is willing to buy on the secondary market.

Eligible borrowers:
-Natural Persons (not business)
-Some restriction on resident aliens

Eligible systems:
-Photovoltaic including grid independent
-Solar thermal

Loan amount:  up to  $240,000
Terms: 15, 20 & 30 years (some with balloons due in 5 years and 7 years)
Collateral:  First mortgage to 95% loan-to-value
Interest rate: Fixed at market rates/variable at prime + 2%

For more information:
- Call: 1 800 (FREDDIE) 373-3343
- Internet:

H.U.D & F.H.A.

(Home) Investment Partnership Program  - This program can be used for housing rehabilitation that includes energy conservation. Also the Energy efficient Mortgage Program E.E.M. Homes must identified with a home energy rating.  The improvements may not be valued at more that 5% of the property value. FHA section 203(b) 203(k) 221(d) 234(c) 203(h) loans may be used for both purchases and re-finances.

Eligible borrowers:
-Anyone qualifying for certain F.H.A, E.E.M. & Title 1 loan. Eligible systems:
-Solar thermal space & water heating
-Photovoltaic systems

Amounts:  H.U.D. area limits

Terms: 15 & 30 years/ Title-1 $25,000
Collateral:  To 120% loan-to-value
Interest rate:  Fixed /Variable

Title-1 these second mortgages help finance solar projects that would not otherwise qualify under the 1st mortgage.

For more information: 
- Check you local listing for a HUD office near you.
- Internet:


These loans are for Veterans only

Eligible Borrowers:
- Veterans & Service persons.

Eligible systems:
-Solar thermal
-Photovoltaic systems
-Energy efficiency measures

Loan amount:  Up to $203,000.
Terms: 15 & 30 years
Collateral: First mortgage to 100% loan-to-value, plus costs. $3000. Documented costs.

For more information:
- Call (800) 848-4904
- Internet:


The energy star financing program works with lenders to provide special financing for buyers of Energy star – rated homes. These loans allow homebuyers to purchase homes with mortgages 10% to 24% higher than they would have qualified for if their home were not energy star rated.

Eligible borrowers:
-People and Businesses

Eligible systems:
-Solar thermal
– (Utility grid-tied with 10 year payback limit)
-Measures increasing energy efficiency by 30% over code

Loan Amount:  No Limit
Interest rate:  Market rates with discounts on energy star homes home loans
Collateral: First Mortgage to 120%

For more information: 
- Call (888) STAR-YES  782-7937
- Internet:


Electric & Gas Industries Association & G.E. Money – GEO smart solar loan program

Eligible borrowers:
- Homeowners and Businesses

Eligible systems:
- Photovoltaic systems
- Solar thermal

Loan amount - $1000. To $25,000.
Interest rate: 7.99%
Collateral:  Unsecured
Sunwize: for rates and terms

Local Banks & Credit Unions
– Check your area for availability and terms.


There are several leasing programs available and they are very similar. There are two types.
- A Solar Lease
- Power Purchase Agreement

Solar Lease

- The System belongs to the lease company.
- They receive the benefits of the rebates, and credits.
- The lease runs for 18 years. If you break the Lease you have to pay the remainder of the contract. (If you move, and new owner does not want to continue the Lease).
- There is usually an upfront initial cost of one or two thousand dollars.
- You pay a fixed monthly fee usually less than your current monthly cost. And a yearly increase of 3.5%. (The savings come in future years if the electrical rates increase faster than the 3.5%)
- Maintenance, repairs and insurance are included.
- System monitoring is included to make sure the panels are performing as stated.
- You may purchase the system at the end of the Lease for an agreed amount.

Power Purchase Agreement (Generally for Commercial)
- The system belongs to the Lease company
- They receive the benefits of the Rebates, and Tax credits.
- The agreement usually runs 15 to 18 years.
- No upfront costs
- You pay the electric company for the power you use of theirs, and you pay the Leaser for the power you use of theirs.
- The leaser’s power is usually less expensive than the power companies, during peak hours.
- The net benefit is lower utility bills.

Popular home Leasing companies:     
- SolarCity
- SunRun

Compilation of financing alternatives provided by:
Rich Hessler, Principal

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