These are some of the highlights of the year gone by and an outlook of things to come for 2011. The solar industry has waited to find out what would be the fate of the Treasury Grant program. If you haven’t tuned in for this debate, this development is very good news for the renewable energy industry. The solar industry had another stellar growth year. A recent report predicted that the industry will grow as much as 22% in 2010, when all of the numbers (modules) have been counted. The one gnawing issue is that the solar industry is quickly becoming a Chinese industry, as even today the Chinese own 66% of world production. It was a better year to put home solar panels on your roof than investing in solar stocks. Morningstar says that solar investors “could be in for a rude awakening come 2011.” The biggest change in the industry came with the micro-inverter. Sure, solar panel efficiencies improved, which means more output for the buck, and the price of PV came down, but the biggest change in the industry came with the industry acceptance for residential PV installation of the micro-inverter. Enphase is no doubt the market leader, but there are many, many wanabees and the competition for micro-inverters will heat up in 2011. The other major shift we saw in the industry is that regardless of whether the homeowner gets a micro-inverter, the homeowner almost invariably wants to get monitoring of the solar energy system.
Posts Tagged ‘Solar Loan Program’
We have had increased interest from those wanting to manage their solar installations. Some of those who have contacted SolarTown are handy around the house and fashion themselves as DIY solar installer. Some are simply taking an active role in managing their solar installations. They are not the type to get on a roof, but they are ready to hire a roofer and electrician. And then there are plumbers or electricians who are making the transition to the solar installation business and need our assistance. All of these folks are people who now make up the SolarTown community. They are interested in working with SolarTown to choose solar energy systems. If you fall within one of these categories, we can help you, too. We have a lot of online resources to assist you. We also have technical customer assistance to guide you through the process of installing your own solar energy system. In this blog entry, we want to demystify the process of how SolarTown can help you succeed with your solar energy project.
Ever since we created the SolarTown community, our customers have complained that the financial burden of going solar was simply too great for them to embark on the journey. Starting today, we are offering our customers some relief: a solar loan program with one year of no payments and no interest. If you are a DIYer, you now have this solar loan program as an option so that you have time to receive your economic incentives and you don’t have to go out and get a home loan or put the entire purchase on your credit card. If you are an installer who has in the past had to advance the cost of the equipment for your customers, you can now have your customer place an order for a solar energy system with SolarTown. You will of course still do the installation—but without having to come out of pocket for the solar energy equipment.
Financing of solar energy systems has been a major concern to us at SolarTown since we launched this store and community. The average cost of a typical solar installation is north of $30,000. This amount is substantially reduced with the federal tax credit and some state or local rebates thrown in. But you have to wait months, sometimes many months, to take advantage of the incentives. There are currently alternatives available, but none very appealing. SolarTown has been working on a solution to financing of solar energy systems and we hope to be able to announce the program shortly.