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Resources for Solar Customers

Over 4 million Americans across all 50 states have added solar to their homes and are now saving thousands of dollars on their electricity bills every year. However, going solar is a major purchase and you should have a clear understanding of all the solar options available to you before you make a decision for you and your family. Take a look at our consumer resources to learn about your options for going solar, what to look for in an offer, questions to ask a solar company, your rights, and more.

Over 4 million Americans have installed solar energy on their homes

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The Smart Solar Guide

Over 4 million Americans across all 50 states have added solar to their homes and are now saving thousands of dollars on their electricity bills every year. However, going solar is a major purchase and you should have a clear understanding of all the solar options available to you before you make a decision for you and your family. Use this guide to get started on your path to going solar.

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Consumer Guide to Home Solar

In an effort to make 'going solar' as effortless and streamlined as possible, SEIA has developed a Guide to Solar Power tailored for residential consumers. This 6 page guide informs potential solar customers about the financing options available, contracting terms to be aware of, and other useful tips. This guide will be updated regularly. For more information on SEIA's Consumer Protection practices and resources, visit our Consumer Protection resource center.

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Recursos en Español

El uso de la energía solar ha aumentado en forma acelerada en la última década. Los costos han disminuido, al tiempo que los nuevos modelos de propiedad y financiamiento permiten que cada vez más estadounidenses elijan la energía solar. La energía solar ahora es una opción disponible en los cincuenta estados, territorios y en el Distrito de Columbia. La transición a la energía solar es una decisión importante. Si comprende los principios básicos de la energía solar, conoce sus opciones en materia de energía solar y sabe realizar las preguntas correctas a los especialistas en el tema, estará bien posicionado para tomar las decisiones correctas.

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Consumer Protection Blog Posts

SEIA is paving a path forward for clean energy companies on consumer protection by raising the profile of these issues and making this critical work a top priority for the U.S. solar and storage industry. Solar customers and professionals can read SEIA's blog series to learn more about our consumer protection initiatives.

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The Solar Investment Tax Credit: What Homeowners Need to Know

This document outlines what homeowners need to know about the Federal Solar Tax Credit for residential solar energy systems outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). This tax credit was created to incentivize home solar installations and may only be claimed by individuals who purchase a solar energy system or a standalone energy storage system for their home. SEIA put together this summary to help residential customers understand the basics of Section 25D tax credits.

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Residential Guide to California Net Billing

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted a new program for businesses and residential customers installing solar. This program, called Net Billing, replaces the existing Net Energy Metering 2.0 (“NEM 2.0”) program and only applies to new on-site solar systems (a.k.a., “behind the meter systems”) for customers of PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E. This factsheet is designed to help residential customers understand the high-level details of the new Net Billing program.

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Residential Disclosure Forms

These streamlined statements are designed to help solar customers understand the terms and costs of a solar transaction - for a cash sale, lease or PPA. They are not intended to be a substitute for reading the contract, lease and other documents associated with a solar transaction.

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Lease and PPA Model Agreements

To facilitate the growth of the industry, SEIA maintains and promotes standardized contracts for a variety of different solar transactions. Initially developed under the Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the following model contracts have been endorsed and modified by SEIA as a critical component of our consumer protection and cost reduction programs.

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Complaint Resolution Process

As part of SEIA's consumer protection efforts, SEIA has developed the Complaint Resolution Process for the SEIA Solar Business Code, which is designed to resolve complaints regarding violations of the SEIA Solar Business Code. SEIA is now accepting complaint submissions from the public, along with supporting documents, for review by SEIA and its Resolution Panels.

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External Resources

U.S. Department of Energy: Homeowner's Guide to Going Solar

You may be considering the option of adding a solar energy system to your home’s roof or finding another way to harness the sun’s energy. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solar solution, here are some resources that can help you figure out what’s best for you. Consider these questions before you go solar.

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Solar United Neighbors: HOA Solar Action Guide

Everyone should have the right to go solar on their property. Some states enshrine that right with solar access laws, which prohibit local governments and homeowners’ associations (HOAs) from preventing homeowners from going solar. Unfortunately, not every state has these laws; even in some that do, HOAs may still have outdated policies that block homeowners’ solar access and propagate solar myths about aesthetics and property values. This guide can help you overcome HOA objections to your solar installation and to provide practical advice to make your HOA solar-friendly.

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U.S. Department of Energy: Community Solar Basics

The U.S. Department of Energy defines community solar as any solar project or purchasing program, within a geographic area, in which the benefits flow to multiple customers such as individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and other groups. In most cases, customers benefit from energy generated by solar panels at an off-site array.

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EnergySage: Compare and Save on Solar Installers

Research and shop through EnergySage's network of pre-screened, local installers.

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U.S. Department of Energy: Smart Shopping Tips for Solar

Millions of Americans are deciding to power their homes with solar energy and take advantage of its numerous benefits, including cost-savings on electricity bills that accrue over the lifetime of the solar system. As more people choose solar energy, the increase in popularity has opened the door for some bad actors who are spreading misinformation and engaging in fraudulent business practices. Every solar company has a responsibility to be honest and upfront with consumers, but to avoid scams, consumers should also be on the lookout for red flags as they plan to go solar.

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Ministerio de Energía: Guía Para Propietarios de Viviendas

Desde 2008, cientos de miles de paneles solares aparecieron en todo el país. Esto a medida que un número cada vez mayor de estadounidenses continua eligiendo energía solar para el suministro de su vida diaria. El costo de la energía solar disminuye cada año gracias, en parte, a las inversiones de la Oficina de Tecnologías de Energía Solar, (SETO). Es posible que usted esté considerando la opción de agregar un sistema de energía solar al techo de su casa o encontrar otra forma de aprovechar la energía del sol.

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Related Consumer Protection News

Tuesday, Mar 05, 2024

Raising the Bar for Consumer Protection Work in the Solar and Storage Industry

Solar remains one of the most popular energy sources across America, and millions of Americans have already made the switch to solar. This surge in demand means even more Americans will consider solar or solar plus storage for the first time in the near future, making this the right time to double down on consumer protection.

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Thursday, Jan 11, 2024

Protecting and Empowering American Solar Customers

Every solar installation should be safe, reliable, and every customer should have a clear understanding of what to expect when purchasing and maintaining a new solar system. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is empowering customers by not only providing them with informational resources but also working to develop national standards that promote fair sales practices to ensure the safe and uniform installation of solar and storage systems.

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Friday, Jul 28, 2023

SEIA Gets Greenlight to Develop 11 New Standards Governing Solar Installation, Training, Recycling, Consumer Protection and Supply Chain Traceability

Today the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) was approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop 11 new solar and energy storage standards.

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