PV module supplier Upsolar today launched a rooftop leasing programme for French homeowners.
Property owners with Upsolar solar panels will be eligible for the programme, ‘Pass Locasolaire’, with payments made for up to 20 years. Upsolar will be the first company to offer rooftop leasing in the French market.
Upsolar will pay homeowners EU500 (US$676.10) for the first year of the programme, thereafter paying out a sum equal to 15% of generated power for each subsequent year, for a total maximum lease period of 20 years. Customers will also be offered the alternative option of purchasing the system to own outright in the second year as an alternative. The company is offering immediate payout on the first year’s EU500 amount for customers who registered before Christmas Eve, 24 December, this year.
Rooftop leasing has caught on in Europe less quickly than in the US, where companies such as SolarCity have been successful with third party leasing models in recent years.
The French solar industry is still waiting for guidance from the government on the future of renewable energy subsidies, after minister for ecology, sustainable development and energy Philippe Martin announced a review of the feed-in tariff in October.
Upsolar has diversified into the downstream market from its module selling business, partly in response to reduced average order size in Europe as a consequence of falling tariff rates in Germany and France, adding direct financing options to customers, including third-party leasing, opening up capital for projects.
Last week Upsolar announced that it had also launched a turnkey system financing solution for the Italian market. The company launched a residential programme in Italy in 2012. The company signed a partnership agreement with Tigo Energy and Kaco New Energy to provide technical design and consultation services.