There are a lot of people who would love to install a system but just plain don’t have the money. Most all of these people also own their own homes. This has caused a lot of companies to create a “no money down” program. However, in many cases, people wind up paying way too much, not saving what they should, or have equipment permanently installed on a house that they don’t even own. Many pay a high rate largely because unless the whole house is refinanced, these loans are unsecured and can be high risk. Many cities and counties have started programs where a loan can be taken out and paid back like an assessment with the tax bill. This lowers the risk and should bring the interest rate down. The rate of return on a solar PV system can be far higher than the interest rate. This means the homeowner makes money from day one. We believe there needs to be a state-mandated system in all 50 states that would allow lenders and installers alike to offer loans on systems that would be collected as an assessment with the property taxes with low risk and low interest, and benefit all involved.
This would benefit the current lenders and eliminate the people who are just taking advantage of people, giving the industry more credability. It would also give the industry a real shot in the arm, making solar affordable to every single homeowner as well as allowing installers to either work with a lender or increase profits by setting up their own financing.
All the state needs to do is set up a registration for contractors & lenders, both are already registered and licensed with the state. Create a universal application form, and then set up for payment of funds same as any other assessment. Loans should be constructed to be either all or most any percentage of the system the homeowner wishes, and also have no penalty for early payment.
Given the number of homeowners, lenders, and contractors this would benefit, and the number of new systems that would come online, we have set this as one of our top priorities. We will be asking members to help us leverage lawmakers to implement this type of loan system. It will cost very little to implement and have far-reaching effects in bringing systems online and helping in making this world a better place.