Solar Mosaic & Enphase Energy are teaming up and throwing down $100 million to package what they call the first zero-down home solar loan including residential operations and maintenance services. Suddenly, leasing just lost a little more luster.
“The major difference between loans over leases is ownership, and that used to mean that if you got a loan and owned your system, you’d have to deal with maintaining your panels,” Mosaic’s Katie Ullmann told SolarEnergy after Mosaic announced the team-up ahead of the massive Intersolar North America conference in San Francisco. “Now, under this partnership with Enphase, the Mosaic Home Solar Loan provides all the financial benefits of ownership with maintenance taken care of.”
That’s some deserved peace of mind for often-busy new adopters looking to solarize, without months if not years of photovoltaic know-how. So-called service gaps like these often stall adoption and innovation, which is why the P2P platform pioneer Mosaic has joined operations and maintenance (O&M) heavyweight Enphase to bridge the divide between the solar haves and have-nots. At least $100 million is on the table, which is a lot of sunshine power — and there may be more on the way, said Ullmann.
“$100 million of loans is roughly 3,500 residential systems, or 25 megawatts,” she explained. “Mosaic expects to finance these $100M of loans over 2014 and 2015 with multiple installers.”
The new solar loan package leverages Mosaic’s online portal for paperwork processing and prepaid service plans with Enphase’s microinverter-based monitoring and analytics, provided through its Enlighten platform, which currently crunches about 500 GB of performance data from around 160,000 systems a day. But these days more is better when it comes to solar loans, which are inevitably shedding the risk that should have never existed in the first place for those looking to wean their emissions off of coal and gas. It’s nice to see the sector correct itself, as catastrophic climate change comes nearer.
“The loan is an alternative to the lease that is gaining traction,” Ullmann added. “Homeowners want to own their system, and get free electricity from panels they own once they pay off their loan.”
Solar neighborhood photo courtesy of SolarCity.