- NRG Home Solar, a subsidiary of NRG Energy, will add two new offices in California and 100 new employees to its 1,000-employee California team in pursuit of a bigger share of the state’s residential solar market, the largest in the nation.
- NRG Home Solar, which has 2.4% of the U.S. residential solar installation market, will also add solar loans as a financing option for customers who prefer ownership to its current solar leasing and power purchase agreement offerings.
- Already a leader in East Coast markets but lagging behind SolarCity and Vivint Solar in California, NRG Home Solar recently purchased California installer Roof Diagnostics and online sales expert Pure Energies to bolster its push into the Golden State.
NRG CEO David Crane, who has said the power grid will become the “last resort” for electricity, recently forecast that NRG Home Solar will have done 10,000 residential solar installations by the end of 2014 and between 35,000 and 40,000 by the end of 2015.
NRG Home Solar’s new solar loan offering follows a trend among the leading solar installers, started by SolarCity. Solar leasing programs continue to drive solar growth but the rapid and steep decline in the installed cost of solar and low interest rates have made homeowners take a closer look at the value proposition in owning a system through a loan.
In solar leasing, which emerged in the 2011 to 2012 period when solar costs were significantly higher, an investment fund owns the system on a homeowner’s roof and leases it to the resident. The fund gets a steady return from the lease payments as well as tax advantages from the 30% federal investment tax credit and accelerated depreciation. The homeowner gets a reduced electricity bill without any of the burdens of ownership.