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System Purchase

Customer buys the system outright, either via upfront payment or through a loan. Ownership includes all financial benefits that accompany a system including net metering credits—which are financial credits that can be earned when a system generates more electricity than it uses—as well as all responsibilities, such as ongoing maintenance. Loans to finance an installation may be traditional home equity loans or can be specific solar loans issued by banks or other institutions, or via some solar installers.

Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

 Customer pays monthly for the electricity generated by the system using an agreed upon price-per-kilowatt hour. A PPA may not have large upfront costs like an outright purchase and may yield immediate savings if the price the customer pays for the electricity from the panels is less than they would have paid to buy the electricity from the utility. The amount paid per kilowatt hour may change over time, so the customer should review the agreement closely 


Much like leasing a car, the customer makes monthly payments for the use of the solar system, while the ownership lies with the Approved Vendor or installer. There may be no upfront cost, allowing customers to save immediately if the value of the electricity is more than the cost of the lease. Lease payments may change over time, so the customer should review the agreement closely.