Canadian Solar launches financing programme for US residential market

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Canadian Solar has targeted the US residential solar power market by launching the Canadian Solar Residential Financing Program, in partnership with Admirals Bank, a Boston, Massachusetts-based financial institution.

Launched on Monday, the programme will involve direct loans to homeowners for installing residential solar photovoltaics (PV) and other renewable energy systems. Loans will be available up to the value of US$40,000, depending on credit status. Under the programme, in addition to approving and lending financial assistance, homeowners will be aided by Canadian Solar in selecting the appropriate systems and modules for their home installations.

Canadian Solar claims that the new system will reduce the complexity of project planning as well as speeding up procurement and financing. Homeowners will be given loans to pay installers directly before installation work takes place, with the aim of relieving financial pressure and uncertainty on installers.

Homeowners who join the programme will be able to monetise the various available incentives for PV plant owners such as solar tax credits and rebates, in order to re-amortise the loaned amount and use it to pay off remaining monthly mortgage payments. The programme is the latest effort by a US solar power industry company to make inroads into the residential market by alleviating homeowners from the burden of upfront costs involved in installation, with other companies including Suncity offering residential PV leasing programmes.

Shawn Qu, chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian Solar said: “We believe there is a great opportunity to leverage our scale to help customers in the U.S. residential market to more easily gain access to necessary financing at attractive rates.”

Nicholas P. Lazares, vice president and director of strategic partnerships at Admiral Alternatives, the division of Admirals Bank responsible for renewable energy lending launched in April of this year, added: “Our program provides homeowners with an easy way to finance solar installations that lower energy bills and allows them to reap the benefits of ownership through tax credits, rebates, and other incentives. We have developed a turnkey solution for homeowners to obtain financing by creating a suite of user friendly web-based tools, streamlining back end operations, putting an emphasis on customer service and educating homeowners on the advantages of direct ownership. Our division includes a dedicated team of solar finance experts ranging from experienced loan servicing professionals to frontline individuals on hand to educate installers and consumers and answer any questions they may have.”

Last week, Canadian Solar and subsidiary Canadian Solar Solutions between them sold four large scale PV plants in Ontario, two to energy infrastructure constructor TransCanada and two to investment corporation Blackrock.

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