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New DOEE Guide Helps District Residents Weigh Solar Financing Options

Friday, November 13, 2020

CONTACT: Cecile Green (DOEE) – (202) 617-1097; [email protected]

Guide Helps Residents Select Best Option for Their Energy and Financial Needs

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the Bowser Administration, through the Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) issued a new guide that shows District residents how to use solar energy to reduce their utility costs. The Consumer Solar Finance Guide, developed in partnership with the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), can help residents make informed decisions in a marketplace where the price of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system is dropping  dramatically, but there are myriad installation and financing to sort through.

“Under the leadership of Mayor Bowser, the District has established one of the most progressive and equitable solar initiatives in the country under Solar For All,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells. “With a goal to generate 10% of our electricity from local solar energy by 2032, DOEE is thrilled to release this guide to de-mystify the financial challenges of solar ownership.”

The guide, which is geared toward both renters and homeowners, does the following:

  • Explains the difference between rooftop solar and community solar.
  • Gives an overview of payment options for community solar.
  • Describes three popular financing choices—leases, Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), and loans—for rooftop solar, and explain their advantages and disadvantages as well as how they compare to a direct cash purchase.
  • Summarizes District programs that help people pay for solar, including the Solar for All program, which is specifically intended for low- and moderate-income residents.
  • Explains key solar financing terms and provide a list of questions to consider before deciding if and how to proceed with solar.
  • Provides a list of other resources to help residents learn more about financing solar.

The guide does not cover technical considerations related to photovoltaic system siting, installation, and interconnection with the electricity grid.

As part of the Guide’s launch, DOEE is holding a Solar Financing 101 informational webinar for residents Wednesday, December 9 at 1:00 pm.

The guide was produced by CESA and DOEE for the District of Columbia under U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy (DOE) Technologies Office Award Number DE-EE-0007667.