Rising residential solar loans, cash sales pose threats, opportunities for market leaders

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Home and property owners across the U.S. continue to install solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems at a rapid pace, and they're increasingly purchasing their systems outright as opposed to leasing them or signing a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a third party. The shift in residential solar energy consumer finance preferences will more than likely continue due to several factors, the ongoing decline in the cost of installing a solar PV system, and possibly battery-based energy storage, prominent among them.

Market-leading third-party solar finance-installation companies, such as SolarCity, Sunrun and Vivint, have been pivotal agents of change that can be credited with raising residential solar PV to unprecedented heights in the U.S. The predominance of third-party owned (TPO) residential PV systems may well have run its course, however; and the shift is rippling across the U.S.


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