SolarCity offers loans so rooftop customers can own solar system, still pay less for power

EnergyAssociated Press

SolarCity will begin offering loans to homeowners for solar systems, a move that industry analysts say could reshape the market for rooftop solar and propel its rapid adoption.

Most current rooftop solar deals involve a lease or an agreement to buy power over a period of time, but the company owns the panels. SolarCity's loan will allow customers to own their systems and still pay less for electricity, a simpler and cheaper prospect.

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The company says it can offer these loans now because it has better access to financing, it can predict the performance of panels well, and it has reduced installation costs dramatically.