Myth: DOE designed the installation program so that only companies using a lease or contract model qualify.
Fact: DOE evaluated many residential solar ownership models and collected feedback from hundreds of stakeholders and residents, which helped determine that a leasing model would better serve vulnerable Puerto Rican households. As other initiatives have shown, an ownership model places too much risk and burden on households to take care of the system, while a leasing arrangement puts the burden of repairs, routine maintenance, major equipment replacement, and insurance on solar installers instead.
In addition, the leasing model was selected because individual households in Puerto Rico do not qualify for federal tax credits (specifically the Investment Tax Credits) that residents in the continental US benefit from. As many solar companies do qualify for these incentives, the leasing model allows DOE to install more residential solar systems for cheaper and therefore bring energy resilience to a greater number of residents in need.
Official news published at https://www.energy.gov/articles/facts-does-puerto-rico-energy-resilience-fund