Deciding to take the step to commit to a solar power system is a significant one. Before rushing into anything, it is worth considering all options such as whether to buy or lease. In an effort to help aid prospective solar energy customers in their search, the Federal Trade Commission released a list of questions, answers and considerations as a guide for buying or leasing a system.

First, consider how long you intend to stay in your current home. When buying a solar PV system, take into account that they are designed to function for at least 20 years and leasing is usually a long-term commitment. Therefore, if you are considering moving within the next decade, ask about how this installation will affect selling your home later on. Along this same line, before investing in solar, try out the customized calculator the Department of Energy created to assist you in calculating how much solar power you can generate based on your location.

If you have not already, consider the average number of hours your roof gets of direct sunlight a day and the angle of your roof. Through contacting your local utility company, you can also learn about whether or not they use "net metering" that pays or gives you credit for any extra power your system produces.

"Check in to see if you're eligible for any local, state or federal tax credits for installing solar systems on your house," BGR writes. "The federal renewable energy tax credit will cover 30 [percent] of the cost of your solar system, for example, although it's scheduled to expire at the end of next year. States and municipalities may offer further credits that last longer."

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