26 July 2012 – Sungevity Australia is up and running, offering RoofJuice to Australian homeowners. The business, an offshoot of California-based Sungevity, is the first solar company in Australia to offer zero-cost rooftop solar, teaming up with local company Nickel Energy to offer pay-as-you-go leasing deals.

The model allows customers to buy large solar systems – up to 5kW or around $12,000 – for no upfront cost and receive instant savings on electricity costs.

Sungevity Australia spokesman Alexander Kinross-Rowe said the roadblock to more residential customers taking up solar energy had been the upfront costs.

“We believe we are the first in Australia to provide power-purchase agreements to residential customers,” he said.

And while the company was starting in New South Wales and Queensland, it planned to be national by the end of the year, Mr Kinross-Rowe said.

The company’s website, www.sungevity.com.au, promises a firm solar iQuote within  72 hours.

Nick Lake, the head of Nickel Energy who will run the joint venture, said earlier this year that the new model was a “massive game changer”.

“This is returning the market to the way it was,” he said.

“Instead of outlaying capital cost and providing their own electricity, householders will go back to buying electricity from a supplier, only this will be cheaper and cleaner. We think it will take solar into new markets.”