SunFarmer’s Rent-to-Own Solar Finance Model
Why It’s Necessary
Most of us existing in developed countries rarely stop to consider the living conditions we take for granted. We are warmed by central heat, our schools are well lit, and our hospitals can power sophisticated, life-saving medical equipment. For the developing world, however, these privileges are often non-existent. The electricity needed to provide such sources of comfort is either inaccessible or undependable.
2.5 billion people, or almost 36% of the world’s population, are currently in need of reliable and sustainable electricity that enables basic health and human services. Unfortunately, many of the hospitals and schools that are great candidates for solar installations do not possess the capital required as collateral to receive financing from traditional banking institutions. Contrary to popular belief, this does not automatically make them any less suited for a loan, just far less apt to receive one.
The problem therefore becomes twofold:
- How can reliable and sustainable electricity be sourced to regions of the world that desperately need it?
- How can this be done affordably? For SunFarmer, the solution to this problem is found within its unique rent-to-own solar financing model.
How It Works
Under its rent-to-own financing model, SunFarmer provides up to 80% of the upfront costs for a commercial-sized solar system for institutions that provide critical health and human services to their communities. The capital needed to finance these projects is raised from a variety of sources, including donations from individuals, institutions, and foundations, and is paid back over a period of up to 10 years under fixed rental payments. As the rental payments are collected, SunFarmer “recycles” them by investing in new solar projects. Upon completion of the payment period, the institution owns their solar-powered energy source. Finally, they are able to depend on reliable, sustainable, and affordable energy.
In order to ensure long-term success of the solar installation, SunFarmer works alongside local installation companies to guarantee the highest-quality installation and design. Responsibility for operation and maintenance of the system is also on SunFarmer’s shoulders, meaning if something breaks, they fix it.
If this model sounds familiar, it’s because companies in North America, such as SunEdison, have built successful businesses out of providing a similar types of solar offerings that simplify “going solar” for businesses and institutions.
Today, solar energy produces less than one tenth of one percent of the world’s energy demand, even though the world’s energy needs for an entire year can be satisfied from just one hour of sunlight. SunFarmer is working hard to bring solar power to communities in need by financing the institutions that serve them.
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