Step 1: Take our Home Energy Survey to target energy-efficiency improvements

Taking a Home Energy Survey before installing solar can show you ways to save money, not only by reducing your overall energy consumption, but also by possibly reducing the size of the solar electric system for your home. 

Start your survey

Quick tips for saving energy

Here are some quick ways you can start saving energy and money:

  • Weatherstrip and caulk drafty doors and windows.
  • Lower the thermostat on your water heater.
  • Seal and insulate your home, a time-tested step that can help save energy year-round.
  • When you replace lights, choose energy-efficient products such as LEDs and CFLs.
  • Check out our rebates for your energy-efficiency improvements.

Try these other easy tips for saving energy.

  • Issue If You Purchase If You Lease

    Federal tax credit

    Info on Tax Credits

    You are eligible for the tax credit benefits as the system owner. The leasing company retains all of the tax credit benefits as the system owner.
    Solar incentive payment (if available) California Solar Initiative Info You can receive the incentive payment yourself or you can assign it to your contractor to buy down the system cost. Not applicable to production-based incentives. Most leasing companies require that the customer sign over the incentive payment to them. Not applicable to production-based incentives.
    System ownership
    Kiplinger Article for your Reference Renewable Energy World Article
    You own the system. The leasing company owns the system installed on your roof. At the end of the lease term you may have the option to renew your lease, purchase the system, or remove the system.

    Selling your house or business

    Berkeley Labs Report

    The system is considered an upgrade and may increase your selling price or improve marketability.You’ll have monthly payments if you purchase your system using a mortgage loan or a conventional bank loan. If you use a mortgage loan, the interest paid may be deductible on your federal taxes (please meet with your accountant to confirm). Under a lease, you must either buy-out the remaining balance of the lease or transfer the lease to the individual purchasing your home or business. Transferring the lease is contingent on the new buyer's credit score and their willingness to accept the transfer. Leasing companies may also require that you get their written consent before you sell your home or business.
    Monthly payments (see article links in System Ownership above) .You’ll have monthly payments if you purchase your system using a mortgage loan or a conventional bank loan. If you use a mortgage loan, the interest paid may be deductible on your federal taxes (please meet with your accountant to confirm). You’ll have a monthly lease payment. Most solar leases have annual increases between 2-5 percent throughout the term of your lease. Be sure to weigh this option over the long term.
    System operation and maintenance You are responsible for system operation and maintenance. However, your contractor may offer this service in your contract as part of the purchase price Either the leasing company or you may be responsible operations and maintenance depending on the leasing contract.
    Energy savings Your savings will be reflected in your utility bills. Keep in mind, if you finance your system, these savings will be offset by the cost of the loan payment until the loan is paid at which time you’ll benefit from all of the energy savings. Your savings will be reflected in your utility bills. However, the cost savings on your electric bill will be offset by your monthly lease payment, as well as any additional costs you may have at the end of your lease term.