SunPower launches home solar financing aimed at less-income homeowners Reuters Residential Solar company SunPower Corp said on Wednesday it would launch a new financial services division aimed at making rooftop panels affordable for more U.S. homeowners.
SunPower Financial, a financing arm, is part of a commitment by the company in September to expand access to residential solar for low-income Americans and push back on the perception that it is a luxury for the rich.
The pledge is aligned with the Biden administration initiative to direct clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities.
SunPower Financial will offer interest-free loans, higher credit limits and expanded loan eligibility to borrowers with lower credit scores, the company said. It will also offer products for shared roofs, mobile homes and more.
Solar homes have grown rapidly in recent years and is expected to expand 21% this year due to the fact that solar companies have worked with lenders to offer loans and leases with no upfront costs and monthly payments that can be lower than for electric utilities.
There is a large opportunity for residential solar companies to win new customers, as fewer than 5% of U.S. homes have panels installed.
In an interview with Reuters Events Energy Transition North America, SunPower Chief Executive Officer Peter Faricy said that consumers don't think they can afford solar or wouldn't qualify for financing.
The perception that people can't afford solar is an awareness problem, Faricy said. The facts are going to bear out that this is very affordable for people with different credit scores and different income levels. SunPower said that because of the fact that it will be offering financing in-house, the company's products aren't limited by terms required by other financial providers.
Faricy said that it's not a very risky loan or lease, and that default rates on solar loans and leases are extremely low.