Since the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, companies across the solar industry have noticed a rising consumer interest in solar – people stuck in the house look for ways to improve it. One of these companies, Mosaic, has launched of a new solar finance offering that looks to capitalize on this rising interest in a format already familiar to consumers.
The new offering has been dubbed PowerSwitch Zero, a loan that features a 12-month promotional period where customers don’t have to make payments on the system, allowing them to see the benefits of their installation from day one. After that first year, customers can pay off the system over the 10-, 15- or 20-year repayment period of their choosing.
The loan is applicable not just to solar installations, but storage and energy efficiency measures as well.
With the prevalence of residential solar has grown significantly in the past decade, it is still a commodity that is entirely new to some consumers. Being a company described by Erin Talbot, Chief Lending Officer, as ‘manically customer-focused,” the team at Mosaic looked to model this new offering after loans the consumers may already have familiarity with, like auto loans.
“It’s not a product that a consumer would be unfamiliar with,” Talbot told pv magazine. We’re really excited about the product. We’re excited to bring that construct to solar lending where it doesn’t exist right now, but it is a familiar consumer lending construct. We think it’s a superior product and we think it’ll change the way solar is sold.”
Beyond a new loan structure, the rollout of PowerSwitch Zero also includes two tools intended to make solar sales easier on both ends, as well as a partnership program for installers.
The sales mechanism is called Portal 2X a web-based, contact-free sales tool that allows for every step of the solar sales process to be completed remotely. The tool is something that Mosaic was had in the research and development pipeline long before the pandemic, one which has only increased in necessity.
And while the contact-free sales offering has only risen in importance since the pandemic, it’s an aspect that was planned for the products since early in development, with Mosaic CEO Billy Parish sharing that it can add a level of customer comfort.
“People would prefer to fill out a credit application remotely, on their own device,” Parish told pv magazine. “You think about the way that the process has worked for the last couple years: often there’s a salesperson with a device and, rather than putting your social security number and other information on their device, they can send you a text message or an email and you can fill it pout on your own device, which is a pretty powerful new way for contractors to enable the credit product.
As for the partnership product, that comes via an app that makes it easier for installers to offer the PowerSwitch Zero loan option to potential new customers.
“We wanted to make sure that as many installers as we can provide this to can get access to it,” said Talbot. “We’ve taken our partner underwriting process and we’re asking for fewer fields up front and we’re processing them faster, so that the installer knows more quickly if they’ll [the customer] have access to it… It’s definitely important to us.”
The company also sees the launch of these three programs as a way for installers who have been hit hard by the economic slowdown associated with COVID-19 to get back to work a bit more quickly.
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Is this product only available in states where third party solar is legal? Also, are you finding that this product only sells where there are retail (or close to it) net metering rates? Thank you.
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