Demand for home solar continues to rise, and financers are taking note. Three lenders expanded their focus and product offering for residential solar last week. Fifth Third Bancorp closed on the acquisition of Dividend Finance, a POS lender for residential renewable energy and home improvement. PowerPay, which provides consumer lending for home improvements and elective healthcare, launched its solar financing program, and CommonBond announced it is ditching its other segments to solely focus on home solar.
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“The addition of Dividend Finance enhances the scale of our digital service capabilities through its tech-forward platform, provides customers and contractors with a best-in-class experience, and accelerates customer adoption of solar and sustainable home improvements, which are even more compelling given rising energy prices,” said Tim Spence, president of Fifth Third Bancorp. “We expect to grow the Dividend platform significantly and further our ESG leadership position.”
Dividend Finance offers a range of loan products across multiple proprietary POS platforms and has built a one-stop solution that enables contractors to offer the best financing experience for their customers.
PowerPay financing can be applied to the entire project including solar panels, batteries, generators, roofing and all installation costs. The program offers 20 and 25-year loans with rates starting at 2.99% and a $100,000 loan maximum. PowerPay offers platform for solar installers to deliver competitive loan product with low merchant fees.
“We’re really excited to enter the solar business,” says PowerPay Co-founder & COO David Haas. “Many of our existing home improvement clients already offer solar and have been anxious for us to roll out this program. The market is huge and growing.”
CommonBond launched its solar side in 2021, and it quickly became its largest and fastest growing business. The company’s relationships with installers have enabled it to enter the space and grow quickly. As part of this move, the company will cease new student loan originations by June 15. Nothing changes for current CommonBond customers whose loans will continue to be serviced by Firstmark Services. CommonBond members will also get exclusive access to preferential solar financing options, as will the company’s corporate partners.
“We are excited by the impact we’re having in the residential solar market,” said David Klein, CEO and Co-Founder of CommonBond. “Every day, we hear the stories of our customers saving money on their electricity bill and reducing their annual coal consumption by tons – literally, tons – because of the solar adoption we are enabling. It’s incredibly rewarding.”
Over time, the company plans to enter other green lending markets. Consumers are increasingly interested in finding ways to reduce their carbon footprint, and capital allocators are increasingly looking for ways to fund ESG assets. CommonBond sits at the center of those two forces.
“This is a giant step forward,” said Brian Hirsch, Managing Director at Tribeca Venture Partners and CommonBond board member. “We are still very early in the consumer adoption cycle of renewable energy, and there needs to be enablers of mass adoption. Digitally native financing is one of those enablers, and that is one of CommonBond’s core strengths.”
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