Financing Your Residential Solar PV Installation

Financing is an opportunity to make going solar more affordable for some homeowners. We’ve talked with a lot of lenders, installers, and customers about financing solar in the Upper Valley. Here’s some of what we’ve learned:

General Tips to Keep in Mind:

  • Some lending institutions offer loans specifically designed for energy-related projects, like installing a residential solar system. There are several energy-specific loan options available to residents in the Upper Valley.
  • In addition to energy-specific loans, customers can access more traditional lending options (e.g. unsecured personal loans, home equity loans) through virtually any other bank or financial institution in the region.
  • Customers must meet credit and income requirements to be eligible for any loan. In some cases, the interest rate and term depend on customer credit, amount borrowed, and other factors.
  • Visit potential lenders’ websites to get more information or, in some cases, begin the loan application process online.
  • Be sure to speak with a knowledgeable loan advisor about your specific situation to determine what financing options make the most sense for you.
  • Because the appropriate loan type often depends on the amount being borrowed, it is helpful to have a cost estimate from an installer prior to seeking approval for financing.
  • Some solar installers have relationships or experience with certain lending institutions and may be able to help direct you to appropriate financing resources.
  • In sharing general information about specific lending institutions, Vital Communities and Solarize Upper Valley are in no way endorsing or recommending particular financing partners or products. As with any contract you may enter into, we urge you to read and understand the “fine print” and seek expert advice as necessary.

Energy Specific Financing Options in the Upper Valley

These are the options we know about; let us know if you know of anything we might be missing.

Institution

Loan Type and Key Points

Admirals-Bank_Logo

National bank with renewable energy loan products available in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Solar StepDown Loan – Fixed interest rate, flexible loan term, up to $25,000 secured

SolarPlus Loan – Additional loan of up to $15,000 (up to $7,500 unsecured) to supplement Solar StepDown Loan

To learn more or apply, click here to visit their website or call 800.398.8472

A mutually savings bank founded in 1907 rooted in and serving the local community.

Energy Efficiency Home Improvement Loan – Fixed rate with lower rate than standard personal loan, up to $15,000 unsecured.

To learn more or apply, visit ClaremontSavings.com or call 800.992.0316

Community bank serving Vermont and New Hampshire.

Energy Efficient Home Loan – 10 year, fixed rate loan secured by the borrower’s home. Loans available up to 80% of home value, rate equal to Home Equity Loan rate.

To learn more or apply, visit LakeSunBank.com or call 800.936.7730

A mutually owned bank with no stockholders, focusing on what is best for our customer and community.

Solar Equity Loan – 10-year, fixed rate discounted from standard Home Equity rate, up to $50,000

To learn more or apply, contact:

A nonprofit organization serving homeowners in Vermont.

Home Energy Efficiency Loan – 10-year unsecured loan for up to $15,000; Must live in Vermont and have completed a home energy audit

To learn more or apply, contact:

nsb logo

A mutually owned Vermont bank donating 10% of profits to community organizations.

Home Equity Energy Improvement Loan – Fixed rate loan of up to $30,000 for 10 years

Energy Improvement Loan – Unsecured personal loan, up to $8,000 for seven years

To learn more or apply, click here to visit their website or call 800.NSB.CASH

PACE logo

Property Assessed Clean Energy

Available only in Vermont in select towns (click here to view list). Administered by Efficiency Vermont.

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) – Allows residents to borrow money for energy-specific home improvements (including solar) and tie the payments to the property rather than the homeowner.

To learn more or apply, visit efficiencyvermont.org/pace

Service_logo

Must live or work in New Hampshire or meet certain other criteria to become a member.

Energy Loan – Fixed rate with lower rate than standard personal loan, up to $20,000 and 60 months unsecured

To learn more or apply, click here to visit their website or call 800.936.7730

VSECU_logo

Vermont State Employees Credit Union

Anyone who lives or works in Vermont can become a member. (You need not be a state employee)

VGreen Energy Improvement Home Equity Loan – Fixed rate, choose from discounted and longer-term options, flexible terms

VGreen Energy Improvement Loan – Fixed rate consumer loan, up to 15 years, $30,000 maximum

VGreen Energy Improvement Balloon Loan – Fixed rate consumer balloon loan, 20-year amortization, 15-year maturity, $40,000 maximum

To learn more or apply, click here to visit their website or call 800.371.5162

Other Solarize Resources

Solarize FAQ

Answers to common questions about Solarize and going solar.

Learn More  >

Solar Library

Links to our favorite resources on solar technology, rebate programs, and more.

Learn More  >

Energy Efficiency

Reduce your monthly electric and heating bills

Learn More  >

Round One Report

More about Solarize Upper Valley and lessons learned in Round One.

Learn More >

How
Solarize
Works

Learn More
  1. Schedule a free site visit.
  2. Get your Solarize price quote.
  3. Sign a contract with your installer.
  4. Install your new solar system.
  5. Tell your neighbors and save on solar together.

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Staff

Julia Guy

AmeriCorps VISTA Energy Savings Outreach Specialist

Energy

 8022919100

Energy

— Julia Guy, AmeriCorps VISTA Energy Savings Outreach Specialist

Julia Guy is the AmeriCorps VISTA Energy Savings Outreach Specialist at Vital Communities. A frequent visitor, Julia is glad to make the Upper Valley a home. Originally from Binghamton, New York, Julia graduated from Skidmore College in 2019 with a Bachelors of Science in Theatre and a minor in Environmental Studies. Before moving to the Upper Valley, Julia was working for a low- waste, plastic-free home goods brand in Brooklyn. When she’s not fighting climate change, you can find Julia hiking and afterward indulging in a soft pretzel with plenty of mustard.



Sarah Brock

Energy Program Manager

Energy

 802-291-9100 x109

Energy

— Sarah Brock, Energy Program Manager

Sarah Brock joined Vital Communities in 2013 as our Energy Program Manager. Through her work Sarah provides support for our region’s 40+ local energy committees, engaging with dozens of volunteers and clean energy businesses in programs like Solarize Upper Valley, Weatherize Upper Valley, and the Upper Valley Green Real Estate Network. Prior to joining the Vital Communities team, Sarah was an Environmental Philanthropy Associate with the High Meadows Fund, a supporting organization of the Vermont Community Foundation. Sarah lives in Warner, New Hampshire, with her husband and daughter. When she's not busy advocating for energy efficiency, Sarah enjoys playing the trombone and taking walks in her backwoods to look for signs of New Hampshire's abundant wildlife.