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This company offers alternate solar funding for homeowners. Here’s how it works.

Business Insider SA
Versofy.
Versofy.
  • Versofy offers alternative solar financing solutions for homeowners.
  • With load shedding Stage 6 announced, South Africans may be looking to install solar systems and dodge the burden that is Eskom.
  • But, kitting out your home with a solar solution is a hefty financial cost.
  • Versofy offers solar financing and will install and maintain the panels at a monthly cost based on your average monthly electricity bill.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

With load shedding becoming more of a permanent feature in South Africa and Eskom announcing Stage 6 of rolling blackouts, homeowners will be looking for alternate power solutions.

Often, homeowners' most significant barrier to going off the grid is the hefty associated costs. While some traditional banks have introduced financing solutions for solar, over time, they are typically offered through unsecured lending options and at steep interest rates.

But, solar financing company Versofy, which pivoted its services marketplace business in 2020, has come up with alternative and affordable solutions for consumers.

Speaking to Business Insider South Africa, Ross Mains-Sheard, CEO and co-founder of Versofy said one of the problems with traditional banks that offer to fund solar is that the industry largely still views it as an unsecured asset, "even though it saves you money in the long run".

Here's how it works.

The company offers subscription-based solar financing under a rent-to-own model, as well as solar as a service model. Unlike with with a rent-to-own plan, with solar as a service, the customer never owns the solar panels.

The rent-to-own plan is a 60-month to five-year term after which the customer takes ownership. While the solar-as-service option is a three-year or 36-month contract, and is 40% cheaper than the rent-to-own option, Mains-Sheard said.

The company's aim is to offer cheaper and shorter payment terms, he said.

"Our whole goal is to get in line with Eskom, at parity with what you would pay your City of Joburg, or Eskom, or your municipality, or cheaper ideally. That’s our ultimate goal," he said.

Versofy's approach is set on selling a product, not interest rates.

"We look more at affordability. We sell a budget as opposed to selling an interest rate," he said.

"The way we're a looking at it, and I think the banks are missing a deet, is if you can afford to pay your CoJ bill… there's no reason you would not be able to pay your solar bill," he said.

The company has a one-day turnaround for credit approvals, which can be longer at conventional banks.

The company has various solar system packages which customers can choose from based on their existing electricity bills. Its entry package, Versofy Grow, with a monthly installment of R3,199, is ideal for homes with an average electricity bill of between R2,000 to R3,000 monthly.

Its more popular one, Versofy Charge, is ideal for homes with an average monthly bill of up to R4,499; the monthly installment for the package is R4,499. The monthly subscription cost for its premium package, Versofy Plus, is R5,399, appropriate for households that spend up to R5,000 a month for power. All the packages come with maintenance.


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