Santa Rosa building serves as launchpad for new commercial solar program


A Los Angeles-based company has put a solar electrical system on a Sonoma County commercial building using a new approach that financially rewards property owners and requires no upfront costs of tenants.

Energy-Producing Retail Realty said its patent-pending business method has the potential “to disrupt the commercial solar industry.” It provides benefits for all involved parties, something that can be lacking in other commercial solar financing models, the company said.

“When the landlord is not paying the energy bill, it can be a disincentive to finance solar,” said Andrew Cameron, the company’s managing director based in Santa Rosa.

Energy-Producing Retail offers ongoing payments to owners who allow solar to be built on their properties. Tenants put no money down and can purchase the new power, typically saving 10 to 20 percent off their energy bills, said Cameron, one of the company’s four partners and a Healdsburg High grad.

And the returns on the solar project offer an “attractive” investment for investors, he said.

The four-year old company released a statement Monday unveiling its Next Level Solar program, which was based upon an installation of a commercial building here.

Solar installations on homes and commercial properties are increasing nationwide as businesses develop new financing models. Both residential and commercial owners now take advantage of no-money-down leases or of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs, where the solar system is financed through government-approved programs and paid off on property tax bills.

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