Purchase and own the system outright. Cash purchases allow you to take rebates, credits, and depreciation lowering your costs resulting in highest return on investment and quickest payback period, generally 4-5 years. Cash purchasers include 0% Pace loans or those available in special municipalities, like Pendleton, Oregon’s Solarize Program.
Secured and Unsecured Equity Loan
There are an increasing number of commercial banks offering low interest secured and unsecured loans for solar systems, usually 4-6% depending on credit. By financing systems directly, property owners capture valuable rebates and tax incentives that greatly reduce the payback period and give return on invest second only to a non-financed cash purchase. Sunthurst Energy is partners with several finance companies, including Admirals Bank (50 states) and Umpqua Bank (GreenStreet Lending program, currently in OR and CA only). These programs are design with little down were debt service payments are below your electric bill so you save from day one.
Many $0 money down equipment leases are available. So if you want to use solar to lower your monthly bills but unable to pay up front cost or not desire an equity loan, consider this option. Equipment leasing has several benefits, 1) It’s simple; often $0 down and all you pay is fixed monthly payment amortized over a selected term resulting in payments less than your average power bill. This fixed payment option allows you to better plan monthly expenditures. 2) Alternatively, lease customers generally can make initial, accelerated, or prepayments reducing loan balance using fluctuating income. 3) System users with low or no tax liability, get a discounted system after the lease company, who owns the secured asset best utilizes federal and state tax credits as well as equipment depreciation to lower the lease balance.
Power purchase agreement (PPA)
A trouble free PPA is like leasing, with $0 down PPA are popular. PPA customers have trouble free receipt of the system and you only pay what it produces. System equipment is owned and maintained by the PPA finance company. You only pay the electricity their system generates for price over the agreed period. Some PPA’s allow a buyout option, but it’s not universal. While insurance, service and replacement cost can be added to cash, loan, or lease systems for negotiated price, these costs are includes in a PPA. So, if you cannot utilized rebates, credits and depreciation or have no desire to maintain, service, and repair the system, PPA is a good option to consider.
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)
Energy Trust of Oregon (OR Residents only)
(833) USE-RSOL (873-7765)