Residential solar financier Sunnova is now offering something that looks like a loan but isn’t really a loan.
When we spoke with Sunnova CEO John Berger late last year, he was adamant about selling solar as a service and had no plans to offer cash sales or loans, despite some rumors to the contrary.
Firms such as SunPower, SolarCity, Clean Power Finance, Sunrun, NRG, Sungevity, SunEdison, Kilowatt Financial, Sungage, Mosaic and Dividend Solar are already in the solar loan business. Loan specialists Sungage, Mosaic and Dividend Solar raised hundreds of millions of dollars in 2014. Vivint, one of the last holdouts, has expressed a “desire to expand into additional financing products, such as loans,” according to an investor note from Credit Suisse.
Sunnova’s new program lets customers “pay a fixed amount each month over the 25-year term at a kilowatt-hour price substantially less than what they currently pay for power,” while providing a warranty along with O&M. The customer owns the system at the end of the term.
That sounds like a loan.