Looking to capitalize on the boom in third-party solar leasing and “Made in the USA” campaigns, SolarWorld on February 12 launched “the solar industry’s first financing program dedicated exclusively to American-made solar products.”
“The program is designed for homeowners seeking freedom from rising utility costs by replacing a portion of their electricity bill with a low monthly solar-power payment,” SolarWorld, the largest US solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer for more than 35 years running, explains in a press release.
Solar Leasing Made in the USA
Chinese silicon PV panels have flooded the US and global market in recent years, helping drive sharp declines in the cost of solar energy systems. Third-party home solar finance companies in the US have taken advantage of the situation by striking supply deals with Chinese manufacturers. SolarWorld’s financing program, in contrast, “guarantees the use of high-quality American-made solar panels in every installation, responding to American consumers’ recently surveyed strong preference for products made in the USA,” the Hillsboro, Oregon–based solar PV manufacturer states in its press release.
75% of US consumers strongly believe products made in the US are of higher quality than imported products, according to results of a Harris Interactive–Made in the USA Foundation poll released last month, SolarWorld noted.
“The majority of leased solar systems installed in the US last year relied on imported panels from China,” SolarWorld Americas’ marketing director Rusty Pittman said. “Increasingly, Americans are seeking out US-made products not only to provide them with quality, safety, and environmental assurances but also to enable them to invest in their local and national economies.”
The SolarWorld Freedom Plan offer homeowners zero-down, low-down, and prepaid home solar PV financing options. All come complete with SolarWorld solar PV systems, which include PV equipment, installation, monitoring services, system insurance, and maintenance for up to 20 years.
Having launched the program in California this month through its network of authorized installers, SolarWorld intends to expand the Freedom Plan across the US, including Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.
Leasing of home solar energy systems has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. A pioneer in the field, Sunrun, working with solar industry market data provider PV Solar Report, this past week released a report revealing that third-party home solar financing added $938 billion to California’s economy in 2012, a record amount.
I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.