Admirals Bank Partners with SunPower to Make Solar Energy Affordable
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) Earlier this month, Admirals Bank of Boston announced a new partnership with SunPower Corp. The bank agreed to provide a $200 million loan program for SunPower residential solar projects over the next two years.
This new relationship will help expand financing options for homeowners interested in powering their houses with solar energy.
Under the program, borrowers with approved credit may receive a loan up to $60,000 to install a SunPower solar system. The program is available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. and offers a 25-year combined power and product warranty. Those who install solar panels under SunPower loans can qualify for a 30% federal tax credit and may also be entitled to additional incentives by state and municipal policies.
"As a lending leader for residential solar power systems, Admirals Bank understands the unique value proposition that SunPower's proven, high performance solar technology offers," said Admirals Bank Chairman and CEO Nicholas W. Lazares, in a press release. "Admirals stands behind families and communities that choose to maximize their savings and minimize their carbon footprint."
In 2012, Lazares piloted Admirals Alternatives, a renewable energy lending division of Admirals Bank. The program has focused home improvement lending efforts in the residential solar and renewable energy industry. Admirals Bank also offers customers additional home borrowing solutions such as residential mortgages and the FHA 203(k) Loan.
"Admirals Bank's funding and affordable rates are enabling SunPower to expand its residential loan program to allow more U.S. homeowners to own the most efficient and reliable solar technology available," said SunPower CFO Chuck Boynton. "In some cases, the loan payment may be equal to or less than a homeowner's current utility bill and, once the loan is paid off, the homeowner will own a system that can produce clean electricity for the life of the system. They may also benefit from increased home value as a result of the solar system on the roof."
Established 25 years ago and headquartered in San Jose, Calif., SunPower Corp. is a major manufacturer of high-efficiency solar panels and systems for residences, businesses, and governments. They have offices in North America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia.
Solar energy has become quite a booming market in recent years. According to the the U.S. Energy Information Administration's April 2014 Electricity Monthly Update , domestic installed solar energy capacity grew 418% from 2010-2014.
Additionally, a Solar Energy Industries Association's (SEIA) Solar Market Insight Year in Review 2013 found that photovoltaic (PV) installations increased by 41% over 2012 alone. At the same time, the cost to install solar fell by 15%.
Rooftop solar panels can also seriously increase the value of one's home. Specifically, a study conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and funded by the U.S. Energy Department found the inclusion of solar energy added approximately $25,000 in home value in California.