Mosaic Offering Peer-to-Peer Loans for Residential Solar

Mosaic Inc., the operator of an online financing system that lets individuals invest in commercial solar plants, is introducing a peer-to-peer network for people to directly fund residential projects.

The company will introduce the system in California in the first half of the year for clients of developer Real Goods Solar Inc., Oakland, California-based Mosaic said today in a statement. People who want rooftop panels may solicit loans through Mosaic’s site and will own the power systems with little to no upfront costs required.

That compares to popular leasing models from companies including SolarCity Corp., which also provide solar energy at no initial cost and then own the systems on clients’ rooftops. Ownership provides more financial benefits for homeowners, according to Billy Parish, Mosaic’s president.

“For zero dollars upfront, the homeowner keeps much of the value of the solar system,” he said in in an e-mail yesterday. The peer-to-peer lending network is expected to be available nationwide by year-end.

Peer-to-peer lending systems connect individuals seeking funding with other people who provide the loans. The payments, typically over 20 years, “will be competitive with monthly lease payments,” Parish said. He wouldn’t provide interest rates or other terms of the loans.

Mosaic agreed last month to provide financing through its system to Boston-based developer Sungage Financial Inc. for loans to Connecticut residents to install rooftop solar panels.

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