New Ways To Finance Residential Solar Power Systems

How can Massachusetts residents afford solar power? The same way they get cable television. Though a long term lease on solar panels Massachusetts residents can now have solar panels atop their homes for a fraction of the cost of buying them outright.

Plus they begin to reap the savings on their electric bills immediately.
The state of Massachusetts wants to go green. Yet unlike California and Arizona the vast areas of sun drenched land is not available for giant solar parks. In an effort to convince residents to place solar panels on their rooftops Massachusetts has a state subsidy program, Commonwealth Solar.

Enter SunRun, Inc., a company that owns solar panels and partners with installers. To get the panels installed a homeowner pays a one time up front fee of $1,000 for about $25,000 worth of solar panels. The homeowner also gets a contract for the energy the solar panels will generate over the next eighteen years. If the homeowner uses more electricity than the panels generate then the homeowner must pay the utility for the additional energy.

How would you like 18 years of solar energy for $1,000 upfront?

The homeowner does not have to worry about the upkeep of the solar panels. If one breaks SunRun, Inc will fix or replace it. However as the owner of the panels SunRun Inc receives the rebates and subsidies. Massachusetts is hopeful that giving away all this money now will cement the solar industry in the state driving down the cost and making rebates and subsidies unnecessary in the future.

The payback on this deal in terms of saved energy costs is about 4 years. Not too bad.

Here in Australia if you don’t want to stump up the full cost of a solar system (minus rebates) your current solar finance options include a loan or stick it on your mortgage.

We’ve developed some solar payback calculators so you can make up your own mind if these are good finance options. Check them out, you may find that you really can afford solar after all…

About Finn Peacock

I'm a Chartered Electrical Engineer, Solar and Energy Efficiency nut, dad, and founder of My last "real job" was working for the CSIRO in their renewable energy division.


  1. This is such a great idea! Excellent way to get solar in more residential areas and to the people. The best part is that everyone benefits – SunRun makes the money from the subsidies and the energy bills, the homeowner has a cheaper energy bill, and the environment gets a break!

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