Home Solar Loan FAQs

FAQs

Home Solar Loan – General FAQs

Is the loan application binding?

What documents do I need to prove my income?

Can I co-sign for a BlueWave loan?

What are the credit requirements* for BlueWave Home Solar Loan approval?

What is the payment structure for the BlueWave Home Solar Loan?

How can I use my Investment Tax Credit (ITC) toward my loan?

Who is Avidia Bank?

How does billing work?

Home Solar Loan—Massachusetts

How much money will I get for my Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)?

How long will I receive my SREC revenue?

What is the payment schedule for SRECs?

Home Solar Loan—Massachusetts DOER

What is the payment structure for the Massachusetts Home Solar Loan?

What are the requirements for credit approval for the Massachusetts Home Solar Loan?

What are the other benefits of choosing the Massachusetts Home Solar Loan through BlueWave?

Home Solar Loan—Installer

By signing a contract with BlueWave, do I enter an exclusive sales partnership?

Do I need to come to BlueWave’s headquarters to process loan materials?

Home Solar Loan

Is the loan application binding?

Submitting a loan application is completely non-binding—it just gives us permission to check your credit for loan approval. Once you’ve been approved, the final loan agreement is binding with your signature.

What documents do I need to prove my income?

Providing your most recent tax return is the easiest way for us to verify your income. Alternatively, we also accept pay stubs and W-2 forms as proof of income.

Can I co-sign for a BlueWave loan?

Yes, we offer you the option to co-sign for a BlueWave Home Solar Loan.

What are the credit requirements for BlueWave Home Solar Loan approval?

You must meet both BlueWave’s credit score and debt-to-income (DTI) requirements for a loan, however, you can provide a co-signer to improve your creditworthiness.

What is the payment structure for the BlueWave Home Solar Loan?

Here’s how payment works:

  • You don’t start making payments until your solar panels are hooked up and converting sunlight into electricity. For this to happen, your installer will receive a Permission to Operate (PTO) notice from your local utility.
  • Once your system receives a PTO, we open a billing account for you and the loan’s 18-month interest-only period begins. You start making payments against the interest rate for your loan.
  • After 18 months, your payments go toward both the principal and interest owed.

How can I use my Investment Tax Credit (ITC) toward my loan?

You can use your Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to buy down your outstanding loan principal during the interest-only period, up to two times. When you pay down your loan during your interest-only period, we re-amortize your loan to reduce your monthly payment amounts. You can use the ITC or any other form of payment to re-amortize your loan during the interest-only period with BlueWave.

Please note that we are not tax experts, and therefore encourage you to learn more about the ITC and what it means for you by reviewing the excellent resources published by the Solar Energy Industry Association or speaking with a tax professional.

Who is Avidia Bank?

Avidia Bank is our solar loan partner, and provides state-of-the-art electronic banking capabilities to businesses and consumers across central Massachusetts and beyond through online access and full-service branches. Avidia Bank is a $1.2 billion mutual bank, headquartered in Hudson, MA with branches in Hudson, Westborough, Clinton, Leominster, Marlborough, Northborough and Shrewsbury.

How does billing work?

You tell us how you want to pay at sign-up: When you’ve signed your BlueWave Home Solar Loan Agreement, our billing partner will send you information about how to set up your account and make your monthly payments.

On your utility bill: You will continue to receive a bill from your utility, but when your rooftop solar panels start producing electricity, you will see a noticeable decrease in what you pay for electricity.

On your BlueWave loan statement: Your home solar loan statement will be delivered to you each month. If you selected the Auto-ACH option, your monthly payment will be automatically deducted from your selected account. If you picked a manual payment option, you will be able to pay your bill online.

Home Solar Loan – Massachusetts

How much money will I get for my Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)?

As your system generates electricity, it also produces a separate attribute called Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs). Energy suppliers (including utilities and competitive suppliers) in Massachusetts are required to purchase SRECs to satisfy a mandate to purchase a certain percentage of electricity generated from renewable energy sources, including solar photovoltaic. As a result of this requirement, there is a market in which SRECs are sold with variable pricing.*

We make it easy for you to get paid for the SRECs generated by your system through three payment options. Once you select your option, this will be your payment plan for the life of your system, pending any state changes to the SREC program.

1. Variable Spot Market Price: We sell the SRECs generated by your system on the open market on a quarterly basis through a partner organization. You are then paid the amount received from the sale, minus a 5% administrative fee, for each SREC sold. The spot market price is typically higher than the fixed strip price discussed below; however, you are more exposed to market risks of changing prices over time.

Example: Your system generates 10 SRECs in year one. The SRECs are sold at a price of $250 each. You will receive $2,500, minus the 5% fee, which results in $2,375 paid to you.
This is a good option if you are interested in maximizing your SREC payments and can accept the risk of price variability each quarter.

2. Fixed Strip Price: You are paid a predetermined price for each SREC purchased from you, regardless of the selling price in the market each quarter. The fixed price is typically lower than the market price; however, you are guaranteed the same fixed price each quarter.

ExampleYour system generates 10 SRECs in year one. We pay you a predetermined price of $150 each, regardless of the selling price.  You will be paid $1,500.
This is a good option if you would like the peace of mind and clarity of receiving the same price per SREC generated, regardless of variations in the market.

3. Fixed Monthly Payments: We pay you a fixed monthly amount based on the size and maximum power your system is capable of generating in kilowatts under ideal conditions. We will distribute the monthly payments to you via ACH. Additional conditions may apply to qualify for this option.

ExampleThe operating nameplate capacity for your system is 8 kW DC and BlueWave offers a $13.30/kW DC rate. You will be paid $106.40 each month.
This is a good option for you if you want to maximize convenience. In this scenario, you know exactly how much you will receive each month regardless of your system’s production and these amounts will be deposited directly into your bank account.

* Under the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) there are two classes of SRECs: SREC I for facilities under the RPS Solar Carve-Out Program, which qualified projects from January 1, 2010 through April 25, 2014, and SREC II for facilities under the RPS Solar Carve-Out II Program, which qualified projects from April 25, 2014 through March 31, 2018. For purposes of this FAQ, the term SRECs is used to refer to SREC I or SREC II.

This FAQ is not a comprehensive summary of all payment options, requirements, and restrictions for sale of your SRECs.  Please refer to the Solar Renewable Energy Credit Agreement for additional terms and conditions.  In the event of a discrepancy between this FAQ and the Solar Renewable Energy Credit Agreement, the Agreement will control.

How many kWh are needed to mint an SREC?

If your system was interconnected before January 8th, 2017: 1,000 kWh, or 1 MWh, of production mints 1 SREC.

If your system is interconnected after January 8th, 2017: Home solar systems interconnected after 1/8/2017 will have their production multiplied by a predetermined factor to determine how many SRECs have been minted. While most residential systems in MA have a payment factor of 0.8, please review the guidelines from the MA Dept. of Energy Resources to determine the payment factor for your system.

How long will I receive my SREC revenue?

You will receive SREC revenue for the lifetime of your home solar loan agreement—a 10-year period. Even if you pay off your loan sooner than that, you will still receive checks for your SRECs.

When 10 years are up, your system will produce regular Class I Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for the next 20 years. RECs are generally worth less than SRECs, but still translate into solar savings for you.

If your loan is paid off in full after the term is up (10 years), you may reassign your RECs to a new SREC aggregator. However, as long as there is an outstanding balance on your loan, you are required to use BlueWave as your SREC aggregator.

How are SREC payments calculated?

  1. Your system produces power, which is reported in kWh to a statewide Production Tracking System (PTS).
  2. PTS sends a report of your production to the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL) for payment calculations.
  3. NEPOOL applies a “payment factor” to the amount of energy you produce based on your system size to determine the number of SRECs you have minted for payment. Find your system’s factor here.
  4. BlueWave sells your eligible SRECs, fractional SRECs are stored for the next quarter.
  5. You receive payment according to the payment option you selected, either market or fixed price.

What is the SREC Payment schedule?

Q1 generation (January 1 – March 31):

  • Minted July 15th, paid in September

Q2 generation (April 1 – June 31)

  • Minted October 15th, paid in December

Q3 generation (July 1 – September 30): 

  • Minted January 15th of the following year, paid in March

Q4 generation (October 1 – December 31): 

  • Minted April 15th, paid in June

Home Solar Loan – Massachusetts Solar Loan Program

What is the payment structure for the Massachusetts home solar loan?

Here’s how payment works:

  • When your installer starts to install your system, we’ll open a billing account for you and you’ll only pay interest on 35% of the total amount financed through us. When your solar system is hooked up and producing electricity, full principal-plus-interest payments are due.
  • Income-based loan support (IBLS) is issued to qualifying customers. If you qualify for support, a 10% or 30% loan principal buy-down (based on income level) from MassCEC will be reflected on your billing account 6-10 weeks after system completion approval. MassCEC sends the registered lenders (Avidia and BlueWave) the check for this loan support.

What are the requirements for credit approval for the Massachusetts home solar loan?

You must meet these criteria to qualify for a Massachusetts home solar loan through BlueWave:

  • FICO score of 681+
  • Debt-to-income (including loan payment) of 50% or lower

What are the other benefits of choosing the Massachusetts home solar loan through BlueWave?

  • All-digital sign up: We make it painless to sign up for the Massachusetts loan through our secure online Solar Management Platform. With qualified credit, you’ll get quick (and often same-day) approval. And because we use DocuSign for loan approvals, the process of submitting your loan agreement is easy—there’s no back and forth with us, your bank, or your installer.
  • Worry-free system support: We guarantee that you will receive solar system service and maintenance for the life of your loan. This will be provided by your installer or through BlueWave and our Massachusetts service partner, Radian Gen.
  • End-to-end service: We’ll take care of your SREC management for you so all you’ll see is additional savings. We also have a team of solar finance experts at the ready to provide you with knowledgeable support and answers to all your loan questions.

Home Solar Loan – Installer

By signing a contract with BlueWave, do I enter an exclusive sales partnership?

No—the BlueWave installer agreement does not have an exclusivity clause. We hope you recommend our loan but don’t require you to.

Do I need to come to BlueWave’s headquarters to process loan materials?

Nope—we’re all digital. All documents are emailed via DocuSign, and processed as they come in. A customer contract can be completed within 30 minutes, provided the customer has provided all of his or her required loan application documents.