SunPower Leading the Way in Solar Affordability and Accessibility

by Senior Writer, Catherine Gray.

Through financial support and digitalisation, SunPower is expecting an improvement in their second quarterly earnings allowing flexible financing options for customers. 

Solar panel company, SunPower, have expressed their optimism for an increase in sales. This is expected in May and June after a slow month in April due to the coronavirus pandemic. When reporting their first quarterly earnings for the year (Q1) CEO of SunPower, Tom Werner, told Greentech Media (GTM), “There is a balance of a difficult April and an improving May and June.”

After halting manufacturing in April and reducing workers to a four-day week amid the virus, the company’s solar manufacturing is expected to make a revival. Production has now resumed in Malaysia and Oregon. This uphill turn will continue with openings expected at the company’s factories in Mexico and the Philippines.

To boost sales of solar panels, the company also offered the first six months of its solar contract for free. Not only sacrificing profit for the potential of more sign-ups but making a change to renewable energy more attractive to its customers. 

SunPower said these “proactive and cost control initiatives” helped their Q1 performance and Werner also stated, “We think we’ve made the appropriate adjustments and put ourselves in a strong position because we responded early to the COVID-19 crisis”.

A new digitalised way to shop solar

One significant thing that lends itself to the success of SunPower during the pandemic is their digitalisation. The company developed an online design function before the pandemic. This allows customers to create their solar installation design without leaving their front door. 

With COVID-19 leading to restrictions on day to day life, SunPower’s digitalisation means customers can purchase solar energy in a safe, accessible way. This innovative idea could explain why they developed a positive and optimistic financial report.

This impact has been reported by SunPower who said their residential segment revenue was up 20.3% to £200.4 million. 

With their innovation, SunPower is leading the way for sustainable energy companies to become digital. By making the solar panel market more accessible, there is potential for more people to turn to sustainable energy in their homes and businesses.

$1 billion to make solar more “mainstream” 

Not only are SunPower leading the way in digitalisation, but they have just received $1 billion in financing from the California-based Technology Credit Union (Tech CU). A significant benefit for the company, especially during a pandemic.

SunPower Executive Vice President Norm Taffe has stated “Our new partnership with Tech CU will diversify SunPower’s funding resources while providing our customers with streamlined process and experience. This $1bn commitment will also allow for tens of thousands of SunPower solar systems to be funded over the course of the next four years”. This partnership is a huge safety net for the future of SunPower while they continue to rebuild after the pandemic. 

A $1 billion partnership with Tech CU will increase financing options available to US residential solar customers. Along with the digitalisation of the company, SunPower is making huge steps in the accessibility of solar energy. 

This partnership will allow SunPower to reduce operating costs. As well as streamlining loan applications and the contract signing process, the company are developing a new financing program. 

The integration of SunPower’s sales and system design tools, customers will be able to compare cash, lease and loan acquisitions.

Tech CU CEO Todd Harris said: “The combination of solar energy solutions coupled with finance solutions from providers like SunPower has made a huge difference in terms of making financing and acquiring solar loan systems easier and more mainstream.”

Innovative steps made by the company before the pandemic paired with their partnership with Tech CU is paving the way for a more affordable and accessible solar panel industry. 

For more information on how solar energy is becoming cleaner, see here.

Catherine Gray

Catherine Gray is a Senior Writer at CleanTech News, eager to be part of the important discussion around clean technological advances, promoting and celebrating the things that can be achieved. Catherine is particularly interested in how writing can have an impact on people’s lives and hopes to make her own mark in the CleanTech community through championing new innovative technologies. With huge admiration for companies and individuals with the dedication to make positive advances towards a carbon net-zero future and an advocate for sustainably in day to day life, Catherine looks forward to being actively involved in the CleanTech community.