Between a historic Google-funded team-up to the tune of $280 million to an ambitious solar program for military housing that aims to double the number of residential photovoltaic systems across the U.S., San Mateo, Calif.-based photovoltaic powerhouse SolarCity has committed to some big-deal partnerships over the past several months.


Now, partnering with Boston-based Admirals Bank, SolarCity has launched a Home Energy Loan program that takes the sting out of the often daunting upfront costs associated with major energy-saving home upgrades. Yep, the company that revolutionized affordable solar leasing now has its sights set on blower door tests and air duct leakage. According to Department of Energy estimates, the average American family spends a whopping $1,900 on heating and cooling costs. SolarCity estimates that 40 percent of the hard-earned cash that homeowners spend on heating and cooling is lost to duct and air leakage alone. Ouch.


Through the new scheme, eligible homeowners opting to tackle energy-wise improvements like installing new/additional insulation, windows, or HVAC systems will be allowed to finance the projects with a one-year, interest-free “Save Now, Pay Later” scheme or through three- or 10-year “Pay As You Go” installment plans. The loans, provided by Admirals Bank, can range from $2,500 to $5,000.


And to be clear, SolarCity has offered comprehensive home energy audits for a couple years now in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Texas (the service is also being unrolled in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. as well). However, this is the first time that SolarCity will be offering attractive financing options to homeowners who decide to embark on energy-saving overhauls based on recommendations stemming from the company's customized, software-based home energy evaluations. 


SolarCity honcho Lyndon Rive sums up the aim of the new financing program:


SolarCity manages customers’ energy needs with better, cleaner alternatives that lower costs and improve health and comfort. By making energy-saving measures more accessible and affordable, we’re doing for energy efficiency what we’ve done for solar power.

Anyone out there hired SolarCity to perform a home energy evaluation? Now, with this new financing program, would you be more likely to take the next step and tackle recommended upgrades?  


Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

(Energy) savings and loan: SolarCity launches home efficiency support program
Proving that it's just not just about bringing affordable residential solar to the masses, SolarCity and Admirals Bank unveil a loan program for homeowners emba