PV manufacturer SolarWorld has introduced its SolarWorld Freedom Plan, a financing programme specifically for solar products manufactured in the US.
The programme — which was launched in California through its network of authorised installers — seeks to help homeowners lower their utility costs by supplying solar power to their homes through a low monthly solar power payment. Furthermore, the programme guarantees the use of US-made solar panels in every installation.
Citing a survey released last month by Harris Interactive and the Made in the USA Foundation, SolarWorld revealed that American consumers believe that US-made products are of better quality than imports with 75% of those surveyed saying that they would pay more for US-made products of the same or better quality than imported goods.
“The majority of leased solar systems installed in the US last year relied on imported panels from China,” said Rusty Pittman, director of marketing for SolarWorld Americas. “Increasingly, Americans are seeking out US-made products, not only to provide them with quality, safety and environmental assurances, but also to enable them to invest in their local and national economies.”
SolarWorld’s new programme offers homeowners deposit-free, low deposit and prepaid financing options to pay for their solar installation in order to minimise their up-front costs. The plan is offered in conjunction with SolarWorld’s complete solar-electric systems, which include photovoltaic equipment, installation, monitoring services, system insurance and maintenance for up to 20 years.
In the next few months, SolarWorld plans to expand the Freedom Plan outside of California into other US markets including Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.
There are several solar financing programmes currently available in the US market. According to GTM Research, the residential solar third-party ownership market was worth US$1.3 billion in 2012 and is forecast to reach US$5.7 billion in 2016.