St. Petersburg, Florida-based Climate First Bank, which claims to be the world’s first FDIC-insured community bank founded to fight the climate crisis, today launched an online solar lending platform for Florida residents.

Climate First Bank’s new online solar lending platform

Homeowners in Florida can now apply online for solar energy financing with no dealer fee. It consists of a simplified online application process and real-time approvals. Climate First Bank claims that most applicants can get approved for up to 100% financing with no money down in less than 48 business hours.

In addition to a low monthly payment option, customers can fully prepay their loan at any time with no prepayment penalty or fee and keep their 26% tax credit. Any payments made in addition to the contractual monthly payment will be applied toward a reduction in the principal balance of the loan.

Climate First Bank is offering a special promotion – 3.99% APR for 25 years with zero dealer fee – for the first 100 loans via its platform. Its example is based on a 25-year, $50,000 loan financed with four interest-only payments and 296 principal and interest payments of $265.84 with a 3.94% simple interest rate. 

Solar energy loan financiers often try to attract clients with low interest-rate loans with very low payments. Climate First Bank says there’s a catch – undisclosed dealer fees that amount to more than 25% of the total cost of the system. Those hidden fees are charged to the solar panel installer and then passed down to the consumer, resulting in a larger total cost.

For example, a $30,000 solar energy system could mean up to $7,500 in undisclosed fees. This means a $30,000 system could cost $37,500. Not only does this negatively impact the client, but it affects the whole solar loan industry.

Climate First Bank President Lex Ford said:

Our robust tool is the next step forward for sustainable lending, making it easy for anyone who wants to stick a solar panel on top of their roof.

Thanks to our transparent solar financing, consumers can purchase a solar energy system with no undisclosed surcharges or fees. Clients, installers, and the planet alike all win with this new platform.

Florida residents can apply for the solar loan here. Climate First’s spokesperson says it will extend its online solar loan service to other states.

Electrek’s Take

This is a genuinely good deal for Florida residents who want to install rooftop solar. And it’s good news on top of good news, as Florida’s governor vetoed a bad bill in April that would have denied homeowners net metering.

If I still lived in Florida, I would be completing my application today for this financing deal. (And I get nothing from Climate First for saying that. It’s a genuinely great way to go.)

Read more: Florida governor Ron DeSantis vetoes awful solar net metering bill


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About the Author

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at michelle@9to5mac.com. Check out her personal blog.