Renovate America launches online solar, home improvement marketplace

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Americans are used to buying things online. When we go to buy plane tickets or hotels, we usually don’t drive to the local travel agency, and they certainly aren’t sold by door-to-door salespeople.

Yesterday Renovate America, the financing provider that administers California’s HERO program, announced that it has launched a new online marketplace to connect prospective shoppers of home improvement services including solar PV with contractors.

Like the online marketplaces at EnergySage.com and Pickmysolar.com, Renovate America says that it vets the contractors who can offer services through RenovateAmerica.com. In addition to its own Contractor Quality Rating system, Renovate America also provides links to contractor ratings on Google, Yelp and Facebook. In exchange for this scrutiny, contractors receive their own virtual storefront on the site.

Unlike the solar-specific marketplaces, Renovate America’s offerings are broader, and including such areas as heating and cooling, roofing, window and door replacement in addition to solar PV installation. However, currently Renovate America’s online marketplace is only available in Florida, Missouri and California, which are states where the company offers financing.

Like other online solar marketplaces, Renovate America will connect buyers with financing options – including it’s own Benji unsecured home improvement loan and HERO, the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program that it administers.