Rooftop Solar Financing: Wins, Trends & What Comes Next

We hosted a webinar on rooftop solar financing trends. For those of you who missed it, here’s a quick summary.

Brad Klein of the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center gave an overview of the recent Iowa Supreme Court case Eagle Point Solar vs. Iowa Utilities Board. This landmark case resulted in a ruling that sets important precedent for solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Iowa and elsewhere. The court found that the solar company providing the PPA did not constitute a public utility, thereby clearing the way for PPA financing to be utilized across Iowa. See Brad’s presentation notes here.


Travis Lowder of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory gave an overview of rooftop solar financing trends nationwide. Our takeaways:

  1. Loans = the hot new thing in residential solar, with Mosaic, RGS Solar, Sungage Financial, SunPower, and SolarCity announcing new offerings.
  2. Third party financing is hitting a plateau and can be expected to decrease in market share as loans and other new financing options gain traction. That said, third party financing will remain the preferred option for some customers.
  3. PACE is Not Dead. $300 million CaliforniaFIRST program is operating in 17 counties, and Renovate America and the HERO program have funded over 10,000 residential projects.
  4. SolarCity held 30% of residential market share in 2013, greater than the next 9 competitors combined.

See Travis’ PowerPoint here.

Our attendees asked some great questions. You can read Brad and Travis’ responses here.

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