Flexible Financial Credit Agreements for Solar Adoption

Along with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), NREL is leading the discovery, design, and advancement of flexible financial credit agreements (FFCAs) to enable solar adoption for low-to-moderate-income (LMI) customers.

It's an effort to transform solar energy into a benefit or asset that’s available to everyone, regardless of income level, credit history, or other socio-economic barriers.

FFCA is a broad term used to describe a suite of solar products with innovative features not currently offered in traditional solar financing programs. These features could include contracts that can be easily transferred from person to person or from one jurisdiction to another. Another version of FFCAs could be integrated into employee benefits packages or allow solar savings to be applied—and multiplied or rounded up—to a variety of self-investment areas such as health or educational programs. Other forms of FFCAs might address periodic income fluctuations and be designed around short-term contracting mechanisms.

Graphic with Flexible Financial Credit Agreements in the middle with images labeled Multi-Family, Commercial, Household, and Utility & Community surrounding it; then, there are icons surrounding those images that say, Transferrable Between Customers, Accessible via Benefits Package, Affordable and Investable, and Portable Across Jurisdictions.
The concept of flexible financial credit agreements is transferable, portable, affordable and accessible.

These are just a few FFCA ideas on the table to meet the ultimate goal of offering LMI customers a menu of innovative, flexible, and affordable financing products to meet their unique needs.

This FFCA product suite requires rethinking current solar finance practices toward a future with affordability, customer choice, and product flexibility as the ambitious but achievable end game.

Flexible Financial Credit Agreements Project Plan

  • Advisory Council

    Establish Advisory Council

    2 months

    Discuss with key FFCA enablers, LMI market experts, and other stakeholders

  • Thesis Formation

    Thesis Formation

    4 months

    FFCA opportunity assessment, barrier identification, product classification

  • Assemble Coalition of experts

    Assemble Coalition of Experts

    1 year

    Thought leadership gathering to accelerate FFCA development opportunities

  • Execute Proof of Concepts

    Execute Proof of Concepts

    18 months

    Research and demonstration initiatives to learn by doing

  • Launch Transition Plan

    Launch Transition Plan

    2 years

    Transfer FFCA leadership to partner to carry out long-term FFCA mission

Join Our Network of Experts and Contributors

To pursue the FFCA vision, NREL and NYSERDA are mobilizing a wide-ranging network of solar industry advisors, financing innovators, technologists developing digital solutions, social scientists, nonprofits, LMI experts, and others.

If you're interested in sharing your ideas and expertise to support FFCA development, contact David Feldman.


The publications highlight additional FFCA models.

Model Brief: Blockchain, NREL Fact Sheet (2022)

Model Brief: Employer-Sponsored Solar Benefits, NREL Fact Sheet (2022)

Model Brief: Low-Interest Secured Flex Loans (LISFL), NREL Fact Sheet (2022)

Model Brief: Solar Revenues to Retire Arrears, NREL Fact Sheet (2022)

Model Brief: Tariff On-Bill Financing, NREL Fact Sheet (2022)

NREL Low- and Moderate-Income Solar Flexible Financing Credit Agreement Rubric, NREL Fact Sheet (2022)


David Feldman

Senior Financial Analyst