SolarWorld claims the SolarWorld Freedom Plan is an industry-first because it is dedicated to American-made solar panels, and says the move lines up with consumer preferences.
“The majority of leased solar systems installed in the U.S. last year relied on imported panels from China,” said Rusty Pittman, director of marketing for SolarWorld Americas.
“Increasingly, Americans are seeking out U.S.-made products not only to provide them with quality, safety and environmental assurances but also to enable them to invest in their local and national economies.”
The company cites a survey from Harris Interactive and the Made in the USA Foundation released in January 2013 that found 75 percent of Americans would pay more for U.S.-made goods of the same or superior quality.
“Solar panels made in America, by Americans are now available with flexible financing options,” says the company’s website. “Why spend more—for less—on inferior panels made overseas?”
SolarWorld guarantees the 20-year plans – there are three options, depending on how much the customer is willing to pay up-front – will cost less than current monthly utility bills, and also includes insurance and maintenance.
This launch comes hot on the heels of new data confirming the popularity of third-party financing for PV installations; the program was launched in California, where almost 75 percent of new PV installations are third-party owned.
SolarWorld plans to expand the plan into Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York in the coming months.