5 Ways To Finance A Solar Panel Installation

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For those who follow our blog, you already know that going solar offers a whole host of benefits, and can even save you, and your customers, money. But as business owners say, you’ve gotta spend money to make money. As a solar sales partner with Palmetto, you’ll work with clients to help them not only embrace solar energy but also find ways to finance their new solar panel installation.

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Solar Energy Loans

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to finance a new solar panel array is to take out a loan. You can look for loans that have similar terms to the ones used in home improvement projects, like renovating a bathroom or finishing a basement. There are many sources for these loans, including banks and credit unions.

However, there are also loans that are specifically for solar panel installation projects. Fannie Mae now offers the HomeStyle® Energy mortgage, which allows homeowners to borrow up to 15 percent of the appraised value of the home to apply toward solar energy projects. This loan can also be used in multi-unit properties like condos and townhouses, as well as single family homes. All that’s required is that borrower complete an energy report that proves that a solar panel array is a cost-effective addition to the home. Fannie Mae has made these loans available to anyone who qualifies for a typically Fannie Mae loan.

Energy Efficient Mortgage

Like a loan, an EEM helps you secure funds so you can avoid having to pay for a solar panel installation out of pocket. EEMs are generally used to purchase homes that are already certified as ENERGY STAR efficient but can also be used to make energy efficient upgrades to the home.

To get an EEM, the borrower has to have a home energy rating conducted. This will indicate if the borrower’s home is already energy efficient, or needs to make energy-efficient improvements. Ultimately, EEMs allow the borrower to use the money that their solar panels saved them on their utility bills to help finance future improvements in the home.

Power Purchase Agreement

A power purchase agreement is actually fairly similar to a solar lease. The major difference, of course, is that with a PPA, you’re paying a pre-determined amount every month for every kWh the solar panel installation produces. While the customer is still buying power, it’s at a much lower price than what they would be paying to the utility company. A PPA requires that the homeowner works with a third-party, like a solar financing company. The third-party actually owns the panels, and your customers, in turn, get to enjoy the benefits of using a clean energy system.

PPAs are great for a few reasons. The cost of installing the solar panels is minimal, and because the customer doesn’t actually own the panels, they do not have to worry about the costs associated with maintaining or replacing the panels.

The PACE Program

Some states offer solar financing thanks to a Property Assessed Clean Energy program. Through a PACE program, the homeowner borrows funds from a local municipality, like a city, town, or county. The repay the loan by paying higher property taxes over time.

Fortunately, taking part in a PACE program doesn’t lower the equity in the borrower’s home. Should your customer sell your home, the tax liability is passed to the new owner. The terms of a PACE loan are generally 15 to 20 years. Typically, the average savings on electricity are more than how much the borrower pays toward the loan each month, making it a self-sustaining lending option.

Purchase the Array Outright

While this may not be an option for all of your clients, there are some who may want to pay cash upfront for their new solar panel installation. The benefits of doing this are obvious. The homeowner enjoys lowered utility bills right away and all of the tax incentives and rebates go directly to the homeowner.

However, this option also means that the homeowner is responsible for the costs of repairing the solar panel array if it’s damaged and to replace or upgrade the equipment as necessary.

Ready to start helping your community embrace clean, renewable energy? Then it’s time to join the Palmetto team. We’re hiring a group of passionate and driven people to become our solar sales partners. This solar energy job promises flexible working hours, competitive pay, and the knowledge that you’re offering your community a valuable commodity. With solar sales opportunities all over the country and an ever-expanding and more demanding market, there are plenty of chances to work all over the country.

Find out what it takes to become a Palmetto Alchemist today and contact us. Once you’re ready, you can get started by submitting your application. Join the Palmetto renewable energy revolution today!