SunPower to offer solar loans Down Under

SunPower has seen its solar leasing scheme in the U.S. display good growth and announced earlier this year that it was fully subscribed in Q1 2013. Following on from this success, the manufacturer has announced a loan scheme for the Australian market.

Loans will be provided by financial partner Community First Credit Union (Community First) and will be made available to households for the installation of a SunPower residential rooftop system. Individual loans up to the value of AU$35,000 will be provided.

The loan period is 10 years, although Community First has said that householders can pay off the loan early without penalty.

SunPower said, in a statement today, that the solar installations would be tailored to meet a households electricity needs and that the savings on electricity will exceed the loan repayment.

The Australian photovoltaic market remains dominated by the residential rooftop market segment, with well in excess of 90% of all installations being installed by householders. High and rising electricity tariffs, abundant sunshine and the falling cost of solar are all understood to be factors behind this trend.

The move by SunPower appears to be a move to challenge some of the Chinese module manufacturers which currently have a strong presence in Australia. Trina Solar is currently market leader in the country.

Solar leasing remains only a small player in the Australian residential market, although with FITs having expired across the country, it may be an emerging trend.

"The Australian residential solar market has developed a need for innovative financing solutions like the SunPower Solar Loan offered by Community First," said SunPower President and CEO Tom Werner, in statement announcing the scheme.