Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Dividend Solar is a relatively newer company in the solar energy industry. Unlike many other solar energy businesses, however, this company sets itself apart by specializing in solar loans & financing. The company stands by its decision to offer buy and loan payment options to residential customers because there are certain advantages that come along with purchasing a system, such as tax credits and rebates.
- $0 Down EmpowerLoan & Dividend PACE
- Certified Installers
- Real-Time Performance Monitoring
$0 Down EmpowerLoan & Dividend PACE
Possibly the most obvious advantage of working with Dividend is that it specializes in loans. It's a great resource for homeowners who would rather purchase solar panels than lease them. Dividend's EmpowerLoan is a financial loan for customers with good credit. Dividend offers two types of loans: EmpowerLoan and PACE. Both loans are $0 down, have certified installers, a performance guarantee, a warranty, and can be paid off early. With these loans, customers can borrow money for a solar energy system (which can cost anywhere between $15,000 and $50,000).
The loan will likely come from one of Dividend's investors, but as a direct lending firm, Dividend won't charge you for paying off the loan early. Possibly the best part of this option is that all the money you spend is an investment toward full ownership of this energy-saving solution. If you are interested in getting started with solar right away, homeowners in every state that Dividend operates in can have a system installed for $0 down with the EmpowerLoan or PACE.
It also bodes well for customers that Dividend requires its installation contractors to have professional licensing and certifications (NABCEP in particular). Some customers might hesitate to work with a company that hires local contractors to perform any work, but these qualifications should make Dividend a more reliable partner. Because Dividend requires its contractors to meet certain requirements, it's more likely that you'll receive a high-quality installation and be satisfied with the work done on your home.
Dividend does include a 25-year warranty that covers repairs and defects, a performance guarantee, and maintenance services through its installation companies. The company also offers a 20-year workmanship warranty.
Real-Time Performance Monitoring
When you purchase solar panels through Dividend, you have the ability to monitor the progress and performance of your panels in real time. With this technology, you can also see how much money the panels are saving you, as well as the effect your solar system is having on the environment.
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- No Lease, Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), or Outright Purchase Options
- Focused on Financing
- Outsourced Installations
- Limited Experience in the Industry
No Lease, PPA, or Outright Purchase Options
Dividend does not offer leases or PPAs. Dividend's EmpowerLoan is a great product, but some customers may still want to get a lease or PPA in order to eliminate the responsibility that comes along with solar ownership. Also, if you would like to purchase your system outright on day one, Dividend might not be the company for you. You could essentially pay the loan off right away because there are no prepayment penalties, but then what's the point of getting a loan?
Focused on Financing
Dividend is a company that primarily focuses on providing loans through its financial product, the EmpowerLoan. This means that the company has more experience helping customers get loans than installing solar systems. This may not deter you in any way from going solar with Dividend, but it is something to keep in mind.
Another potential drawback is that the company hires local contractors from its network to do installations. Despite the qualifications these contractors must meet, some customers prefer not to work with companies that outsource installations because this can sometimes result in miscommunication and lack of quality.
Limited Experience in the Industry
Dividend began in 2013. While the solar industry is relatively new, most companies have been around twice as long as Dividend. This is a con for anyone who would prefer to work with a company that has a longer track record.
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