Investing in solar is a big financial decision no matter the state of the economy. As everyone around the country (and the world) grapple with the ongoing health and economic impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the question of whether it’s the right time to go solar has become harder to answer financially for many homeowners. With that in mind, a number of solar companies throughout the country introduced new programs to help make paying for solar easier for people who install solar today.
How is solar faring during COVID?
Overall, the solar industry seems to be doing okay despite the ongoing pandemic, and has the data to back it up. When we surveyed solar shoppers in the spring, interest in going solar had actually increased as a result of the pandemic, with many homeowners saying their timeline for going solar had actually advanced. Surveys we conducted of our installer network, and those conducted by the California Solar & Storage Association (CALSSA) and SolarWakeup, painted similar pictures of solar companies who were hit hard in March and April, but who had very rosy outlooks for the coming months, quarters and years. And in recently released data from WoodMackenzie and SEIA, overall solar installations were only down 6% between the first and second quarters of 2020.
However, the picture hasn’t been entirely positive. Despite the fact that overall installations of solar were reasonably flat quarter-to-quarter, WoodMackenzie and SEIA report that residential installations decreased by 23% and currently over half a million clean energy workers remain out of work, according to recent research from E2.
Forecasts for solar growth over the rest of 2020 and beyond remain positive, but there are concrete ways in which the industry is trying to boost interest with limited time promotions. Here are a few that have helped solar to be more affordable than ever:
Sunrun offers 6-months of solar for $6
The first company to offer lower cost solar during the pandemic was Sunrun. From April through June, Sunrun offered the “Spring 2020 Take Control” promotion, which offered participating homeowners solar for just $1 per month for the first six months of their contract with Sunrun. While the promotion has since ended, it paved the way for solar companies throughout the country to begin to offer attractive financing options to home and business owners looking to go solar.
Mosaic offers free solar for a year
Mosaic, one of the leading providers of solar loans in the US, followed on the heels of the Sunrun promotional program with their own new promotion: PowerSwitch Zero. The PowerSwitch Zero program allows homeowners who purchase solar with a loan from Mosaic to have no payments for the first 12 months they have solar, the first solar financing offer of its kind. At the end of the 12 months without solar payments, your solar loan kicks in–so either a 10-, 15-, or 20-year loan term. Importantly, while the Sunrun promotion has already expired, Mosaic intends to make the PowerSwitch Zero promotion permanent, meaning even if you haven’t gone solar yet, you can still access this great deal.
Sunpower offers new, super low financing terms
Most recently, the national solar installation company Sunpower introduced new financing terms for their residential solar customers with an exceedingly low annual percentage rate (APR): the new rates go as low as 0.99% APR. This announcement, along with Mosaic’s 12-months of no-payment solar, indicate the way in which the solar industry continues to move away from leases & PPAs and towards ownership models, either through up front or finance purchases. And compared to standard rates for solar loans that have traditionally hovered in the 4% or 5% APR range, the new, 0.99% APR financing option can save homeowners significantly over the lifetime of their panels and the length of their loan.
EnergySage continues to aggregate competitive quotes
On EnergySage, you can always be assured of receiving competitive, transparent quotes for high-quality equipment from high-quality installation companies. We work with our network of pre-screened, local installers throughout the country to help you get the right solar panel system at a fair price, often saving thousands of dollars compared to purchasing a solar panel system with a vendor off of EnergySage. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a free account today to see how much you can save with solar.