SolarCity, a leading provider of solar energy systems, today announced a new financing program backed by Morgan Stanley that will change the way residential solar is purchased. SolarLease, the first residential financing program to be provided directly by an installer, offers homeowners an affordable way to go solar without significant upfront costs, and adds exclusive benefits not available with cash purchases.
SolarLease makes solar power an economically attainable option for most homeowners. Because SolarCity owns the solar panels, the company can gain access to commercial tax credits and apply the savings to customer financing. Financing solar energy systems therefore becomes significantly more affordable, as monthly payments for most customers are less than their previous utility charges. In addition, the upfront payment is significantly less: a four-bedroom homeowner can install a solar system for an initial payment of about $2,000 where previously the same system would require a $25,000 cash investment. SolarLease makes going solar easier as well as more affordable -- with financing, installation, performance guarantees and lifetime support all from one vendor.
"We've wanted to go solar for quite a long time," said Don Crevy, an early leasing customer. "With SolarLease we can immediately get all the advantages of solar energy ... without blowing our budget." "It's a total win-win!" added Ginger, Don's wife.
California is a vast and untapped market for solar: currently, less than one percent of California homeowners have installed solar electric systems. The SolarLease program has the scale to support thousands of residential solar installations and will rapidly accelerate the number of installations completed in the last 20 years.
"Customers have called for alternatives to solar purchasing, and our innovations in financing will allow them to get the benefits of renewable energy quickly, easily and affordably," said David Arfin, Vice President of Customer Financing at SolarCity.
"By eliminating the significant upfront capital requirement, solar power is now a truly affordable energy option," said Lyndon Rive, the company's Founder and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe this will spark a great wave of solar adoption. Dollar for dollar, if you had the option of using clean solar power or dirty coal power, which would you choose?" he said.
In addition to SolarCity's deployment strength and installation expertise, SolarLease customers will greatly benefit by the company's ability to directly administer product financing through a banking partnership with Morgan Stanley.
"We are excited about this joint venture opportunity and to help make solar energy an economically viable alternative to the residential consumer. This transaction will allow the consumer to source environmentally friendly power without having to make a large capital investment," said Aaron Lubowitz, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley.