California-based OneRoof Energy has secured $50 million in financing to support launching an aggressive residential solar leasing program, which includes an innovative method of working directly with roofers to lease and install residential solar power systems.
This program demonstrates the trend for many solar companies to market renewable solar packages to the residential marketplace using leasing as a viable sales tool. According to OneRoof CEO David Field, leasing contracts nationwide have grown from 15 percent of sales to 50 percent of sales, a figure which will probably continue growing.
“The challenge we’re seeing is that the paybacks are so long,” said Field in an interview. “It doesn’t make sense to buy if you have the ability to lease.”
With this leasing program in place, homeowners can enjoy the benefits of renewable solar power without having to pay the traditionally large upfront costs, even with tax incentives.
Through this program, OneRoof Energy will market and maintain rooftop solar energy systems for homeowners, often working with builders or roofing contractors to combine roofing and solar installation into one process.
Series A financing was led by Korean-based Hanwha International, which holds a controlling interest in Hanwha SolarOne, a global solar manufacturing company. Hanwha reports 2010 international revenue of more than $26.5 billion. “OneRoof Energy represents a great opportunity for us,” said Hanwha CEO Simon Lee in a press announcement.
OneRoof Energy has also obtained funding via a partnership with Black Coral Capital, an investment firm interested in clean tech and alternative energy, and from a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp. U.S. Bancorp has committed more than $554 million of renewable energy tax equity to finance more than $1 billion of renewable energy projects in the United States, primarily in the solar market and in select opportunities in the wind energy market.
“We believe that the most efficient and cost-effective way to install a solar system is at the time a roof is built or rebuilt, and our first-round investment partners agree,” said Field.
No doubt, so will many residential customers.
Photo: OneRoof Energy