Third-party financing is a powerful solution for making solar affordable for smaller businesses, middle-income families, and a host of other organizations that might hesitate to pay the upfront costs. Third-party financing options allow consumers to instead lease solar equipment or simply buy the power through manageable monthly payments.
The sheer diversity of organizations taking advantage of third-party solar financing is mind boggling. This is a partial list of the many ways third-party options are benefiting bottom lines for many different markets:
- The Military: The Department of Defense is making a rapid shift toward sustainable energy, pushing for 3 gigawatts of renewable energy production by 2025 and a goal of having 25% of its energy needs met by sustainable sources. Energy security and flexibility are strategic concerns, and TPF is a partial means to meet that goal. Military facilities of all sizes are adopting third-party financing to expand their consumption of solar energy. From New Jersey to California and Arizona, the third-party financing model is serving our armed forces.
- Our Schools: School systems are some of the largest public services in the nation, and they have shaped most of our lives. As many school systems struggle with budget constraints while planning the growth and maintenance of their facilities, TPF solar has proven again and again to be a cost-effective way to implement energy savings. Currently, more than 5,000 schools nationwide use solar technology. A recent study of 450 school districts found that cost-effective solar installation under the TPF model could save more than $1,000,000 in energy costs annually. Currently, solar technology in use in schools generates $77.8 million in energy bills, at an average of more than $21,000 per school annually. These savings have a huge impact on overall budgets at a tight time, enhancing the educational experience of students tremendously.
- Nonprofit Organizations of All Kinds: Nonprofits work in many fields, doing a lot of good in North Carolina and across the U.S. And while they’re fighting the good fight, they’re often doing so with small budgets and no appetite for the federal and state tax credits available to other customers. By removing the upfront cost barrier and monetizing tax credits, third-party financing makes solar energy affordable even on a nonprofit budget. Churches, community centers, clinics, and other nonprofit entities are benefiting from the savings and sustainability offered by the third-party solar options.
- Major Retailers and “Big Box” Stores: Some of the biggest names in retail are going solar through third-party options to manage their energy costs without adding large capital investments to their books. Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Staples, and other major outlets are investing in solar this way because it’s good for their bottom line.
Third-party financing offers a flexible, scalable option to meet consumer demand for affordable solar energy. It drives local investment from both consumers and businesses, creates jobs, and offers innumerable community-wide savings and benefits. As we’ve seen, organizations of all kinds can benefit, making third-party financing a good option for North Carolinians.