California and Hawaii have lengthy been recognized for his or her rooftop photo voltaic markets, however in a lot of the remainder of the US, rooftop photo voltaic arrays are nonetheless considerably of a uncommon sight. So after I attended the recent NC Clean Tech Summit, I used to be stunned by one of many exhibitors. So I requested one of many organizers:
“What are Sungevity doing right here? Photo voltaic leasing is not allowed in North Carolina.”
As has been broadly publicized by now, I wasn’t seeing issues: Sungevity has indeed started selling rooftop solar in North Carolina, working with native retail big Lowes (with whom it has partnered with in the past) to market its merchandise , and native installer Sure! Photo voltaic Options to put in them.
This transfer is notable for 2 causes:
1) Sungevity is better known for its solar leasing model, however as PV pricing comes down, and as entry to credit score turns into simpler, new financing choices are rising that enable dwelling house owners to personal their very own array—generally with zero cash down—and probably nonetheless begin saving from day one, as soon as financial savings on their electrical energy invoice are taken into consideration.
2) Sungevity is the primary nationwide photo voltaic firm to begin promoting in North Carolina. Regardless of a booming utility-scale photo voltaic business, rooftop photo voltaic has been a uncommon sight on this state. This can be an indication of latest markets opening as much as decentralized photo voltaic.
I bought up with Sungevity co-founder Alec Guettel to seek out out extra. I requested him why North Carolina, and why now:
“North Carolina is without doubt one of the high states within the nation for photo voltaic, however all of the motion has been on the utility scale. There hasn’t been a financing resolution that works for photo voltaic. So we partnered with Mosaic to design a financing resolution particularly for North Carolina owners.”
How is the financing completely different from what’s been obtainable thus far?
“Our candy spot is after we can come right into a market and provide owners photo voltaic at zero cash down, and have the funds be near or lower than you would be paying in your electrical energy invoice. After we began out, that was usually achieved by way of leasing—however there are actually an rising variety of choices for individuals who wish to personal their very own system. Mosaic’s product permits us to supply this type of aggressive financing, and to benefit from the state and federal tax credit. Clearly the specifics will fluctuate with every set up, however we’re assured that this will probably be a gorgeous possibility for a lot of North Carolina properties.”
What is the greatest problem for a state the place there hasn’t, thus far, been lots of rooftop photo voltaic?
“By far our greatest problem is schooling. However we’ve got nice partnerships with trusted manufacturers like Lowes and Sierra Membership, which assist us to lift consciousness of how owners can save. And as we have seen in earlier markets, as soon as owners begin to set up photo voltaic, it sells itself—spreading from neighborhood-to-neighborhood as individuals discuss their experiences and share their enthusiasm.”
Presumably there are additionally enterprise benefits in diversifying your markets?
Sure, as we develop our presence in additional states—and internationally too—we’re much less susceptible to political modifications to state incentives, for instance. However we’re assured within the medium- to long-term that we’ll see an enormous development in decentralized and rooftop photo voltaic, each in North Carolina and throughout your complete world.
Curiously, in different information, SolarCity has introduced it’s working with local utility MP2 Energy to bring “full net metering” to Texas for the primary time, which means owners will be capable of purchase photo voltaic at lower than their present utility energy payments even with out native incentives.
And in but extra information, solar system pricing in the US dropped 9% in 2014 alone.
Might it’s that rooftop photo voltaic is about to take off in much more states than we’d beforehand have imagined? Sadly, my own residence should wait. Sungevity’s quick and environment friendly iQuote process fairly rapidly found out that I’ve too many bushes in my yard. (Darned bushes.)
Anyhow, this is slightly background on Sungevity and what they’re all about.