Financing has been the magic bullet for unlocking the residential solar market in the U.S. By spreading out the payments for a system to 20 years, solar customers are cash flow positive in many U.S. locations. So far, various Third Party Ownership (TPO) structures — generally leases and PPAs — have been the preferred form of financing. Basically, a third party owns the system on a homeowner's roof, the TPO company gets a monthly payment from the homeowner, and the homeowner gets electricity that is less expensive than utility power.

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