How Solar PPAs and Leases Work

The benefits of solar without the hassle.

Power purchase agreement (PPA) and lease products available through the CPF Market® offer affordable alternatives to the cash purchase of a solar system.  In the rapidly expanding residential solar market, third-party finance has been a key driver of growth because it lowers the upfront cost of solar and expands the addressable market.

Up to 75% of homeowners now prefer to finance their solar systems rather than pay cash*.

*Based on California Solar Initiative working data set as of Jan 25, 2012

For professionals who sell and install solar, the ability to offer consumers competitive finance products is increasingly essential to winning deals and growing market share.

“We were sick of losing deals to competitors who could offer a PPA or lease. After a few months of working with Clean Power Finance, our business has tripled.” – Barry Wardak, President California Solar Systems

Solar-as-a-Service


Solar service agreements are contractual arrangements between consumers who want the benefits of solar without the hassle of ownership and investors who purchase residential solar systems.

With a lease, the consumer pays to use the solar equipment use: with a PPA, the consumer pays for energy produced by the system. Although solar PPAs and leases are a relatively new concept (pioneered in 2006-2007), consumers are already accustomed to using service level agreements to pay for cell phones, cable and electricity from their utilities. Consumers can realize immediate savings on their electric bills with no hassle, and the finance provider earns a favorable return on a stable investment.

Clean Power Finance® connects banks, corporations and utilities committed to investing in solar with solar professionals who then sell the solar service agreements to consumers and install the systems. We make a transaction fee for processing the solar service agreement and overseeing the monitoring and maintenance of the system. Investors benefit from stable investments with managed risk. Solar professionals expand their customer base, increase sales and grow their businesses.

Flexible Options


Consumers like having choices to fit their individual budgets and requirements. Whether Clean Power Finance makes a PPA or a lease available in a particular market is typically dictated by the utility or the requirements of investors. Both products generate similar monthly savings for the consumer.

Monthly finance products in the CPF Market have flexible initial payments and annual increase percentage (escalator) options, which can be adjusted to fit the consumer’s needs and the solar professional’s business goals.

The prepay option on a PPA is a good fit for consumers who are able to make a larger upfront investment and want to maximize their savings over time by locking into a low energy rate not subject to escalators. The prepay option costs less than paying cash and comes with the added benefits of our service plan.

We also offer multiple buyout and termination options for consumers to choose from at the end of the term of the agreement or if they decide to sell their house.

Worry-Free Solar


Clean Power Finance provides system performance monitoring for the entire length of the term of the agreement and will arrange for any necessary maintenance and repairs of the system. Our service agreements guarantee performance levels, so we have a dedicated team that monitors the performance of the “fleet” of solar systems that were sold through us. We also offer consumers access to an online monitoring portal that allows them to view their individual system’s performance. Our performance guarantees and monitoring solutions provide peace of mind for consumers and make going solar an easier decision.

The CPF Market


At Clean Power Finance, our mission is to drive the mass-market adoption of residential solar by building an online marketplace to connect industry professionals who need finance products with investors looking for stable investments. The concept of the marketplace is to make residential solar pricing more affordable and more transparent by providing a choice of competitive, non-exclusive, unbranded finance products that solar professionals can offer to consumers. Our online software platform, CPF Tools®, makes this process easier than ever by allowing solar professionals to select finance products, design systems, create proposals and manage deal processing all in one place.

If you are a solar professional interested in becoming a channel partner, call us at 866-525-2123 ext. 2 from 8am – 6pm PST Monday through Friday, or email us to learn more.