A Program For Crowdfunding Home Solar Launches in Connecticut
Earlier this month, Mosaic joined together with The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), Connecticut’s green bank and Sungage Financial, a platform that enables homeowners to efficiently apply, qualify and contract for solar financing, to offer homeowners crowdsourced loans for solar installations.
Mosaic is a pioneer in the world of solar energy, even though they have nothing to do with developing solar technology. Leaving design up to the scientists and engineers, this California-based B-Corp is instead focused on the financial part of solar: inventing new ways for people to invest in and install solar installations in their own communities.
In January 2013, the company made headlines by announcing the first ever public solar crowdfunding scheme in American history. Through the program “anyone living in New York or California, or ‘accredited investors’ living in other states, is invited to contribute what money they can, just like a typical crowdfunding campaign. The difference is, every cent contributed will be used to construct large scale solar projects across the nation, and the revenues are used to pay investors a handsome rate of interest.”
It was an instant success. To date, Mosaic has financed over $6M of solar projects with thousands of investors across the nation. Unlike many investment opportunities, the company has had zero defaults and 100 percent on-time payments with earned interest of 4.5 to 7 percent annually. Mosaic’s first investment offerings were solar projects on affordable housing apartments for low-income residents in California, but now the company is thinking even bigger.
The same way Mosaic provided investors with an easy way to invest in commercial solar products, the new program will allow anyone to make an investment that can then be loaned out to homeowners who want to put a solar power plant on their roof.
CEFIA has provided an initial $5 million commitment to fund originations of the consumer loans. Mosaic will crowdsource investments from Americans to fund these loans and facilitate repayments to investors through its online marketplace. Investments in the loan pool will be offered to investors with a 15-year term and yields of approximately 5 percent to accredited investors.
“This transaction represents what a Green Bank is designed to do,” said Bert Hunter, CIO of CEFIA. ”Together with Sungage, we created a residential solar loan product that is easy to access and optimized for solar. We then went out and sourced investment partners who understand the industry and recognize the value of these consumer loans with the green bank aggregating these loans and providing critical credit enhancements.”
For now, the scope of the new crowfunding scheme is limited to homeowners in Connectictut (lucky them!) but Mosaic sees great potential in the home solar finance space and there’s hope that it could spread to other states in the near future.
Image via freethesun