Monitoring, Rooftop, Solar

Sunnova Offers Solar Ownership Program to US Residential Customers

Residential solar financing company Sunnova announced today that it is now offering what it calls an EZ Own program, which is like a cross between a solar loan and lease. Essentially, customers will be able to make monthly payments for their home solar system with no money down — all through Sunnova itself rather than a bank. Sunnova will also provide a service warranty package.

Through the program, customers pay a fixed amount each month under a 25-year term at a kilowatt-hour (kWh) price “substantially” less than their current rate, according to Jordan Frugé, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Sunnova. Owners can also make advanced payments on their systems at no fee, further lowering their monthly bill. 

“In June of the year following interconnection, the customer may make an optional prepayment and their payments are re-amortized and lowered for the remainder of the agreement,” said Frugé. “Monthly payments are fixed, not variable based on production like some other products.”

Sunnova offers the EZ Own program to homeowners with a credit score of at least 650. And since customers own the system, they may be eligible for the federal investment tax credit (ITC) before it expires on December 31st 2016.

“Consumers have a strong desire to take advantage of the federal Investment Tax Credit before its looming expiration,” said Sunnova’s Chief Executive Officer John Berger in a statement. “EZ Own is putting ownership within reach for more homeowners, removing the responsibility of maintenance, monitoring and repairs over time.”

The 25-year warranty package includes maintenance, repairs and monitoring. If a customer pays for their system early, Sunnova will still maintain the system for the full 25-year contract.  If the customer decides to move, the system and services can be transferred to another customer. 

While leasing is still king of the residential solar market, more and more financing models are cropping up as of late. Residential loans are expected to become much more popular in the coming years as system prices come down and financing options become more attactive. Companies such as SolarCity, SunPower, and Vivint have already partnered with banks to introduce loan programs. Sunnova expects to launch its EZ Own program in the first quarter of 2015 starting in California, with plans to expand into other states.

Lead image: Solar rooftop. Credit: Shutterstock.