With nearly one million solar energy systems installed on residential rooftops across the country, buying or selling a solar home is getting more and more common. Just like a renovated kitchen or a finished basement increases a home’s value, solar has been shown to boost home valuation and shorten a home’s time on the market. In addition, new borrowing tools give solar-interested homeowners access to financing programs that can lower the cost of capital and unlock new ways to go solar. The real estate market is embracing solar, making it vital that real estate agents, appraisers, and homeowners increase their solar knowledge and leverage the premium-boosting power of a solar system to sell or refinance their homes.

SETO has funded projects, tools, and resources designed to help make it easy to purchase a solar system for your home, or buy or sell a solar home. This spotlight on solar and real estate aims to highlight our extensive work in this area and connect these resources with the professionals and homeowners who can use this information.



  • Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power – T​his resource from the Solar Energy Industries Association aims to protect consumers as they navigate the going solar process.
  • Solar Industry Commitment to Consumer Protection – This resource from the Solar Energy Industries Association is designed to help consumers understand available consumer protection efforts by the solar industry.
  • Solar Transaction Disclosure Forms – In an effort to protect consumers, the Solar Energy Industries Association created standard transaction disclosure forms.
  • Consumer Solar Checklist –This list by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council is designed to encourage Americans to consider important pieces of information before entering into a contract to install a solar system.
  • Clean Energy Consumer Bill of Rights – The Interstate Renewable Energy Council has created this guideline to address consumer issues, including safety, contractual transparency, warranties, and privacy issues realted to renewable energy technologies.


  • Fannie Mae HomeStyle Energy – This new mortgage option gives borrowers the ability to complete clean energy upgrades for up to 15% the appraised value of their homes. Borrowers are able to finance energy-efficient upgrades when purchasing or refinancing a home, eliminating the need for a subordinate lien, home equity line of credit, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan, or unsecured loan.
  • Fannie Mae Guidance for Homes with Solar Panels – Fannie will purchase/securitize homes where the owners have purchased solar panels or have a third party financing agreement in place.
  • FHA Programs that Can Help Homeowners Save Energy – This overview from the FHA lists the programs and resources from their office that can help homeowners save energy and finance renewable energy systems. 
  • A Homeowners’ Guide to Solar Financing – The Clean Energy States Alliance has released a guide to help homeowners navigate the complex landscape of residential solar system financing.
  • Model Leases and PPAs –The Solar Energy Industries Association created model contracts in an effort to further consumer protection and cost reduction programs. 


  • Community and Shared Solar – An explanation of community and shared solar, an overview of SETO-funded projects in this area, and information and resources on this emerging topic.
  • National Community Solar Partnership – The National Community Solar Partnership works to expand access to community and shared solar throughout the nation, especially in low- and moderate-income households.