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Palmetto Finance Energy Plan: A Win-Win Solution for Customers & Sales Reps

September 25, 2023
Palmetto solar installation

Another way Palmetto makes life easier for our sales reps is with Palmetto Finance, our debut program that allows you to tap into entirely new markets of eligible and enthusiastic solar consumers. Welcome to an energy plan that simultaneously benefits consumers and unlocks opportunities for you to earn more.

Introducing Palmetto Finance: Expand Your Market, Make Customers Happier & Grow Your Earnings

At Palmetto, we talk to solar salespeople from other companies in markets around the United States. From some of them, we hear that it can be tough out there. When we hear those stories, we have to wonder: is it the market that's tough, or do companies make it tough for their sales teams?

Solar sales are tough right now, but our salespeople are thriving. Here's why. Beginning with the marketplace, solar energy is booming in the United States:

  • 24% annual growth rate in the last 10 years
  • 40% drop in installation prices in the last 10 years
  • Most solar generating capacity added in each of the last 4 years
  • 6 consecutive record years for residential solar

Given this backdrop, one might wonder why sales still appear to be tough. The answer often lies in the intense competition and evolving customer demands. 

This is where Palmetto shines. Not only are our salespeople thriving in this challenging yet potential-rich environment, but our consistent commitment to excellence has also earned us a spot on CNET's Best Solar Companies of 2023 list. Moreover, our dedication to our clients was recognized when we were singled out for the “Best Solar Company for Customer Service” award.

And now, we're excited to introduce our new energy plans, designed to further capitalize on these industry trends and provide even greater value to our customers.

So, you won't hear many grumbles from our sales pros... can you say the same about how it's going with your organization?

And now, there's even more good news and good times for our teams: we're debuting our Palmetto Finance Energy Plan, which will allow them to sell even more solar. Palmetto Finance is a third-party ownership (TPO) plan that benefits both our customers AND sales reps:

  1. No down payment, no initial cash outlay. Homeowners don't purchase equipment or own the solar system, they simply pay a fixed, predictable monthly payment there are no installation, equipment, or maintenance costs or hassles;
  2. Immediate savings with controlled costs. Palmetto Finance demonstrates day 1 reduced rates for customers & provides a fixed rate hedge against surprise rate hikes from utilities. The lease and PPA contract sets a fixed price per kWh that is lower than what the local utility charges & that rate moves only according to a pre-approved schedule that the customer has approved;
  3. Faster commissions. Palmetto's financing program makes it easier to get customers qualified for credit, while our innovative platform accelerates the installation process. We make it faster to get to contract signing, faster to installation & faster to get your commissions in your pocket.

Let's dive in and take a closer look at how we open up opportunities for you to sell more solar, within a process that's faster and better, with Palmetto Finance.

Palmetto Finance—Building a Better Lease and PPA for Customers & Sales Pros

Here's the pitch that's allowing our sales teams to tap into a new, much larger market of solar consumers, with an energy plan that is affordable, simple, and hard to resist:

  • Americans paid 14.3% more on energy costs in 2022
  • Utility company surprise rate hikes were a significant driver of this surge
  • Palmetto Finance sets a  0.99%, 1.99%, or 2.99% per kWh fixed rate escalator
  • This hedge against hikes creates long-term savings, with no upfront costs

Instead of making homeowners deal with the hassle of rising interest rates and costs, Palmetto Finance offers lease and PPA (depending on market) financing options so homeowners can see a day 1 reduced rate on energy. With rates equal to or cheaper than the competition, Palmetto Finance empowers our salespeople to get more glass on roofs and also get paid faster!

Optimizing processes

Another complaint we hear from sales pros is that they're challenged by their organization's processes. Long sales cycles, complex commission structures, and poor customer satisfaction that leads to change orders and cancellations are all persistent challenges. They're also very avoidable challenges.

Palmetto Finance leverages Palmetto's focus on process optimization. We've looked at solar sales from end-to-end and found ways to make almost every phase and workflow faster, more convenient, and better:

  • AI-powered apps for lead generation & qualification
  • Automation tools that simplify workflows
  • CRM platform that supports pipeline visibility & management
  • Soft credit checks that are fast & hassle-free
  • Customized proposals in minutes
  • Back-office support for fast contract signing & finalization

Fast contract signing gets your initial commission in your pocket quicker. And when it comes to installations, we happen to be just about the fastest around, which means you get your full payout earlier! We're on your side: getting your commissions paid quickly and easily is our way of ensuring everyone succeeds—it's a philosophy that our competitors haven't matched.

The bottom line is this: The Palmetto Finance Energy Plan is a win for consumers and a win for our hard-working sales partners. It's a program that makes solar energy accessible and affordable for a larger population of consumers, which opens up tremendous sales opportunities for our solar sales pros. Palmetto Finance's value creates happier customers and our commitment to rewarding our sales pros keeps them happier also.

How Is The Palmetto Finance Energy Plan Priced?

The Palmetto Finance Energy Plan is structured for pricing according to three core principles: delivering overall customer savings, meeting the market where it is with competitive EPC rates, and continuously assessing the impact of key pricing variables.

Customer savings

The most effective strategy to migrate people to sustainable energy is to demonstrate energy cost savings. Making a customer's utility bills more affordable provides a powerful incentive to jump onto the solar energy bandwagon.

“Day 1 savings” is an essential benefit of Palmetto Finance. Pricing plans are designed to deliver immediate savings to customers, compared to their current utility rates. A discounted kWh rate is easy to understand and provides the foundation for explaining how Palmetto Finance is a desirable alternative to utility pricing.

Competitive EPC rates

At Palmetto, we understand how competitive the solar industry is. We continuously assess our pricing based on the competition, which is why we always have an eye on what Sunrun and Sunnova are doing:

  • We strive to make rates not just competitive with those offered by Sunrun & Sunnova, but substantially better;
  • At the same time, our commission structure is not just competitive with those offered by Sunrun & Sunnova, but better;
  • Flexible, consumer-friendly rate escalators allow dealers to flex system prices to cover other costs (e.g. electrical, trenching, etc.), which adds more opportunities to tailor contracts to precisely fit the needs of customers & salespeople.

Key pricing variables

Our capability to generate accurate and appealing contract proposals for customers is dependent on the following key pricing variables:

  • kWh rate: Palmetto assesses markets for pricing, including both local utilities & other solar providers. Working from floor & ceiling kWh rates, we are able to generate highly competitive customer prices for proposals, which provides you a powerful sales advantage.
  • Rate escalator: The annual solar energy rate increase can be chosen by sales reps & is part of the commission structure. This allows you to respond dynamically to the market & flex your commissions in instances when demand is greater or appropriate sales opportunities present themselves.
  • Production factor: This calculation provides a production estimate range, which helps define consumer energy produced & the overall system value. This is another factor in the commission structure that allows you to capture higher commission opportunities.

What Makes Palmetto Finance Stand Out?

The biggest advantage to Palmetto Finance is that it offers a cooperative win-win for both customers AND sales reps, instead of creating a competition. By focusing on pricing and customer experience, Palmetto supports high demand and improved satisfaction all around.

Customers get: A high quality product that makes them part of the clean energy future. Day 1 savings and transparent pricing that deliver on cost savings promises. Fast installation that optimizes the customer experience. Outstanding customer service that builds satisfaction.

Sales reps get: An experience that is faster, less complex, and more convenient, for optimal customer satisfaction and less workflow friction. No upfront costs or equipment ownership means thousands more leads. No-hassle financing gets them qualified quickly, price controls provide transparency and build trust. Now you enjoy a larger pool of potential customers, sales are easier to close, and commissions pay out faster.

How to Sell Palmetto Finance Effectively

Making Palmetto Finance work to boost your sales and add to your bottom line requires understanding how to talk to customers. Here are examples of effective sales conversations with three different types of customers:

  1. Customer pain point: energy costs. “Your utility bills are killing you? A PPA or lease will earn you immediate, day 1 savings. And the contract protects you against surprise rate increases—you always know exactly what you'll be paying. I've updated our proposal to show you how much you'll save beginning today.”
  2. Customer pain point: earning full savings. “You won't see savings from a traditional solar installation? If you don't quality for the full ITC, unless you're going to re-amortize, it can be tough to make it pay off. That's why we have an alternative that gives you control and savings right away, here's a proposal that explains everything.”
  3. Customer pain point: transparency & understanding solar benefits: “Understanding everything and making an informed decision is difficult. We have something for you that's way less complex and gives you choices to control your experience. Palmetto Finance lets you select the price per kWh AND a rate escalator that protects you against surprise hikes. Here's a proposal that's competitive and gives you the info you need to make the best choices for your situation.”

It's not tough out there when you partner with Palmetto and have support that understands your workflows and builds enthusiasm and trust with customers at every phase of your sales process.

Palmetto Finance Is Here to Build a Bigger Solar Marketplace, Thrill Customers & Reward Our Salespeople

Palmetto is committed to opening up the solar journey to everyone, by innovating a framework that makes sustainable energy accessible and affordable. To accomplish that mission, we're supporting our sales teams to do their best work.

Want to be part of the action? Let's have a conversation about working together. We've made it so that partnering with Palmetto can help boost your sales career and our promise to you is that we'll work to make your sales faster, simpler, and more rewarding.

Visit our Palmetto Sales Partner page to learn more—it's the first step toward building a sales business that allows you to achieve and earn to your full potential.

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