Questions on Solar Panels & Solar Loans
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    About Dividend Solar

    Dividend Solar offers a better way for Homeowners to install solar panels and maximize their savings. With our $0-down EmpowerLoan, Homeowners realize the maximum economic benefits of solar ownership as well as a full-service offering, including performance and maintenance guarantees, product warranties, system monitoring and a simple, all-electronic loan process. By financing the system with a Dividend Solar EmpowerLoan™ (or paying cash), Homeowners own the system themselves instead of leasing it. With solar ownership, Homeowners receive the benefits of the large Federal Tax Credit (30% of the total system cost!) as well as any local incentives and rebates. We have included the most attractive benefits of going solar, while shifting more of the economics back to you, the Homeowner, through solar ownership.

    If you're a Homeowner who is interested in saving money on your energy bill, you're a perfect candidate to qualify for a $0-down EmpowerLoan. Applying is quick and easy, so Get Started today!

    Dividend Solar was founded to create a more efficient residential solar market. Our company is rooted in the core belief that positive economic and social returns are not mutually exclusive. After working at Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch during the heart of the financial crisis, the founders saw firsthand how misaligned interests between stakeholders can create negative economic and social outcomes. With that in mind, and recognizing the vast opportunity represented by distributed energy, Dividend Solar was formed.

    Dividend Solar connects creditworthy Homeowners, customer-centric Installers and financial Investors, creating partnerships and aligning interests to enable all members of the solar value chain to benefit. For Homeowners, we've made the process of going solar as simple as possible through our full-service offering, including performance and maintenance guarantees. As a Homeowner, you also benefit from our partnerships with leading Installers and our common-sense approach to lending directly to you – replacing the red-tape of our banking system with a transparent and technology-driven direct lending platform.

    Dividend Solar enables Homeowners – not a third-party finance company – to realize the maximum economic benefits of solar. Together, we make solar an investment – not just another monthly expense.

    We're not a bank, and we're not your traditional solar company. We are a customer-focused lending platform that is reinventing the way America invests in solar energy. Dividend Solar partners with institutional-scale Investors looking for stable, lower-risk returns to create a more efficient lending market. Our all-electronic application streamlines the loan process, enabling us to keep transaction costs low and offer you lower interest rates, more savings and a quicker path to energy independence.

    All loans made in California are originated by Dividend Solar, Inc., a licensed California Finance Lender, license number 6054787. All loans originated in states other than California are originated by Dividend Solar Finance LLC.

    Dividend Solar EmpowerLoan™

    Who says you can't have the best of both worlds? The Dividend Solar EmpowerLoan offers the combination of hassle-free system coverage plus the financial rewards of ownership.

    • $0-down
    • Low, fixed interest rate
    • Savings on your utility bill
    • System performance guarantee
    • Real-time monitoring
    • Free maintenance
    • Prepay at any time with no fees
    • Maximized financial returns
    • You receive the federal, state and local tax incentives instead of a third-party company

    With our $0-down EmpowerLoan, Homeowners realize the maximum economic benefits of solar ownership, as well as a full service offering, including performance and maintenance guarantees. We have included the most attractive benefits of a solar lease, while shifting more of the economics back to you, the Homeowner, through ownership. With no out of pocket cost to buy a solar panel kit, the EmpowerLoan makes going solar easier than ever before.

    For more details, you can see the many benefits of the EmpowerLoan here.

    You mean, besides knowing that you're helping save the environment for future generations while reducing America's reliance on foreign imports? There are many more benefits: going solar with an EmpowerLoan means you can expect to experience monthly savings from day 1 for $0 down, you're shielded from rising energy prices, and your home value may increase – all while you produce clean energy. In addition, the incentives and rebates from ownership are both real and substantial. Local, state and federal tax credits can potentially offset over 30% of the total cost of your system. What's more, your system may pay for itself in 5-10 years, leaving you with free solar electricity for the remainder of the life of your system (25+ years).

    The cost of a solar power system will vary depending on its size, location, your roof layout and other factors, but rooftop solar systems typically cost between $15,000 and $50,000, with the average being about $30,000 for a 6.5kW (6,500 watts) system. To get a better understanding of how large of a system you'll need, sign up today for a free estimate of your solar savings.

    EmpowerLoans are $0-down, with no up-front payment whatsoever. With Dividend Solar, you can buy solar panels through our financing with no out-of-pocket cost.

    You can prepay your loan at any time without penalty. Prepayments will not change the interest rate or monthly minimum payment required, but paying early will reduce the effective term of your loan and save you money by reducing the amount of interest you will pay in the future. If you choose to use your monthly savings to help pay off your loan, you can save even more money over the long run.

    No, there is no lien on your house. Dividend Solar's EmpowerLoan is secured by your solar energy system. We file a UCC-1 financing statement, naming your solar system equipment as collateral, which means that we can repossess the solar equipment in the unlikely event you default on your loan.

    Many other solar energy companies require a lien on your home, effectively using your house as collateral for the loan payment. We don't think you should have to put your home at risk to go solar.

    Dividend Solar EmpowerLoan Process Review

    To qualify for a loan through Dividend Solar, you must own your home and be at least 18 years old with a verifiable bank account.

    We consider a number of factors in qualifying a Homeowner for an EmpowerLoan, including:

    • Your credit score
    • Information provided by credit bureaus
    • Your debt-to-income ratio (how much money you owe compared to how much money you earn)
    • The length of your credit history, the number of other accounts that you have open and your usage and payment history with those accounts
    • Your recent credit activity

    Our goal is to help all homeowners who want to use solar energy to power their homes do exactly that. We take a look at every single application on a case-by-case basis and are often able to work with our customers to find a solution that works for them.

    At Dividend Solar, we've changed the experience of getting a loan. Instead of a time-consuming, paperwork-heavy process with inflexible rules, our loan application process has been described as "simple," "hassle-free" and "the way it should be." If you're a qualified Homeowner, getting a loan has never been easier.

    To start your solar journey, simply sign up here or give us a call. We'll catch up on the phone with one of our all-stars, understand your energy needs and get a system designed for you – all at no cost.

    Once you've been pre-qualified, all we need from you to complete the application process is a copy (a picture from your phone or a scanned images) of proof of income (2 pay stubs, your last year's W-2 or 1040) and your bank account details. It's that simple.

    The EmpowerPortal is your HQ for everything related to your solar loan and your solar system performance. Want to see how much electricity your system is producing? Check out the EmpowerPortal. Want to check your solar savings? Head to the EmpowerPortal. Want to make a prepayment on your loan? Same place.

    Dividend Solar Installation Overview

    Quality and customer experience are of utmost importance to us. We partner with the highest-quality solar installation companies in the country; all of our Installers have to share our commitment to quality and have track records of success. Every Dividend Solar Installer commits to provide ongoing operations & maintenance (O&M) services, system monitoring and a long-term performance guarantee.

    Once the equipment components arrive at your home, a typical solar panel installation takes about 2-5 days to install (but can be completed in 1 day in some cases). The length of time depends on the details of your roof and the number of panels that will be installed. Once the system is installed on your roof, it takes some additional time to receive "Permission to Operate" from your utility company. Your Installer will provide you with the estimated installation time for your specific system.

    We provide a 30-day grace period from loan signing, during which we forgive all interest owed. If your installation is significantly delayed, for example due to a delay in permitting, we will work with the Installer to expedite progress. We will never charge you until your system is installed and saving you money on your electric bill.

    It's easy to switch to solar! We will get your solar system up and running as quickly as possible so that you can start saving money and using clean energy. Inside your home, you won't experience any changes – there's no need to change appliances or make any other alterations. Outside your home, your Dividend Solar Installer will obtain all building permits and design your system to meet your local building codes. Your Installer will arrange the electrical, building and utility inspections and be on-site to make sure that everything is up to code.

    Our mission at Dividend Solar is to make it as easy as possible for you to go solar today.

    Solar and Solar Financing Industry

    Great question! The biggest difference is that both solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) entail a third party owning the solar system on your house, while a Dividend Solar EmpowerLoan means that YOU own your system. Whether you go solar with a loan, a lease or a PPA, you will likely save money on your utility bills immediately. However, the financial benefits of owning your system – either through a Dividend Solar EmpowerLoan or a cash purchase – highlight the clear advantages of ownership.

    Lease: In the lease model, an Installer builds a solar energy system that it owns on your property. You pay a leasing fee for the solar energy system. Solar leases typically involve annual inflation escalators meaning you pay more each year for the power from solar system. You don't get any tax credits or incentives; instead, the installation company gets them and typically sells them to a big conglomerate company.

    PPA: In the PPA model, similar to a lease, an Installer builds a solar energy system that it owns on your property. The Installer then sells the power generated by its system back to you at a fixed rate. You don't get any tax credits or incentives, and you effectively pay the same high financing costs as you would in a solar lease.

    EmpowerLoan: With an EmpowerLoan from Dividend Solar, you actually OWN the system on your roof instead of renting it from a solar company. The EmpowerLoan is similar to a lease or PPA in that you have no upfront costs, but also provides significant additional benefits for Homeowners. After your system is installed, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to 30% of the cost of your system. In addition, many states also provide tax credits to encourage people to buy their systems.* With a loan, these tax incentives belong to the Homeowners who purchase their system, but in a lease, the leasing companies pocket the sizable tax credits because they own the systems.

    In summary, the Dividend Solar EmpowerLoan combines the benefits of a lease – no down payment, energy cost savings, hassle-free maintenance and performance guarantees – with the financial upside from ownership. EmpowerLoans are offered at $0 down, with low interest rates and no prepayment penalties, typically offering net savings far in excess of leases or PPAs.

    *Dividend Solar does not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax advisor for more information.

    At a high level, energy from the sun is collected by the solar panels on your roof and converted into electricity. This electricity from the panels, which are made up of of photovoltaic cells, is in "direct current" (DC) form, which needs to be converted into "alternating current" (AC) electricity that you currently use in your home. This AC/DC conversion is made by a component called an inverter, which is included with your system. The inverter then channels the usable electricity into your existing power meter, and it can then be used to power your home. When your system generates energy in excess of your home's needs, that extra power is sent back into the grid (a process called "net metering") which in turn lowers the cost of your utility bill. Clean energy + savings!

    Since the amount of power your solar system generates is a direct result of sunlight, it will produce slightly less energy when the weather is cloudy, and will not produce any energy at night. Your home will continue to be connected to your local utility grid, so that you can automatically begin to draw power from the grid whenever you need it. You won't experience any power interruptions; the switch between solar system power and the utility grid happens seamlessly, with nothing to do on your end.

    The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has an Energy 101: Solar video you can watch to learn more about the conversion from sunlight to electricity.

    At times, your solar energy system will produce more electricity than you can use, and the surplus electricity is returned to the utility grid to be used by other consumers. The amount of electricity your home pulls from the utility grid is tracked by your electric meter which spins forward for each kilowatt hour used. When your solar energy system returns electricity to the utility grid, your electric meter will actually spin backward. This process is called "net metering," and it effectively counts and bills you for the net amount of electricity that you have pulled from the grid.

    Currently, 44 states and the District of Columbia offer net metering. The states that do not offer net metering are: Alabama, Idaho, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas. You can read more about net metering states here.

    We hope so, and it's easy to find out. Simply enter your information here, and we will give you a call to get your solar journey started. Our customer-focused Installers can quickly evaluate your home's suitability for solar by examining satellite photos of your property, with no cost to understand if solar is right for you.

    No. Solar electric power systems integrate seamlessly into your home. You won't have to buy new appliances or change your electrical outlets; everything will work just the same as it did before. Just sit back and watch your utility savings add up!

    When you begin to generate your own solar power, your utility bill can drop significantly. How much you can save will depend on the size of your solar system, your electricity usage, your current utility rates, and other factors. In your meeting with our Installation Partner, they will share the specific projected savings that your system will generate.

    Most solar systems can be productive for 25-30 years or more, and their primary operating components come with long-term manufacturer's warranties. As part of a Dividend Solar EmpowerLoan, we require our Installers to provide long-term system performance guarantees on every system that we finance.

    Solar energy systems are durable and built to withstand the wear & tear of outdoor conditions. Your system will operate best when it is clean and in direct sunlight, so periodic rinsing is recommended. Seasonal inspections and trimming nearby trees will ensure your system is delivering optimal energy production. In case you encounter any issues with your system's performance, Dividend's Installation Partners include a warranty & performance guarantee. This includes a 20-year workmanship warranty on all repairs and defects and a system performance guarantee based on the estimates provided to you during your sales process. In addition, all manufacturer warranties, some of which may last up to 25 years, are managed and covered by your Installer.

    Solar energy systems are also extremely reliable. Solar has proven to be a dependable source of energy for large office buildings, large retailers and governmental agencies, supplying large quantities of energy. Some of the largest organizations in the world have buildings powered by solar energy, including eBay, Walmart, and the US Air Force. Dividend Solar has incredibly high quality standards and partners with Installers who only use the best equipment – we build your power system to last, and stand by our quality with the system performance guarantee.

    Performance monitoring is one of the coolest parts of owning your solar energy system. Each Dividend Solar system includes a special meter that measures your system's solar power production in real time. When you visit the EmpowerPortal, you can see exactly how much electricity you have generated and you can track the production over time.

    In addition, the system performance data is also sent to our database, allowing us to proactively detect problems that may be reducing your system's performance. We consistently monitor the actual performance of your system to ensure that it is producing at least 85% of the power guaranteed by your Installer. If your system's performance falls consistently below that level, we'll send an Installer to fix the problem at no additional cost to you.

    Now is an ideal time to switch to solar. Solar power can dramatically reduce your utility bill and will protect you from rising utility rates for years to come. In addition, federal, state and local governments are offering generous rebates and incentives to go solar. The federal government offers a 30% tax credit on federal income taxes which has been extended for five years.

    Our Installers provide in-depth assistance on all required tax submission forms, which includes identifying all of the potential rebates, acquiring the relevant forms, and preparing the materials for you to sign and submit. We strive to make going solar a hassle-free experience at every stage of the process, including your tax submission.*

    *Dividend Solar does not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax advisor for more information.

    Distributed generation is the production of electricity at or near the source of consumption. Often referred to as on-site generation, electricity is produced from many small energy sources, such as solar energy systems. Historically, electricity has been generated in large, centralized facilities, which have the benefit of economies of scale and are often constructed near a resource center (e.g., a coal power plant near a coal mine) and then transmitted long distances to cities and populated areas. As technology has progressed, costs have declined and distributed solar, in particular, has experienced rapid growth over the last few years. Distributed generation includes many benefits over centralized generation and often reduces the amount of energy lost in transmission as the electricity is generated close to where it is used.

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