Rocket doubles down on solar

Rocket Loans will be offering loans to customers who are installing solar panels, the lender announced Tuesday. The news comes exactly one year after its parent Rocket Companies announced it would enter the green energy game in 2022. 

Rocket Loans will provide financing to Rocket Solar customers who choose to have a solar electricity system installed, the company said. When a customer applies to buy a solar panel through Rocket Solar, an automated and individualized solar loan will be sent from Rocket Loans in less than 30 seconds, according to the firm.

“It seems to be the right time to be in the business,” said Joel Gurman, president of Rocket Solar. “There was legislation announced the other day that would essentially extend a tax credit for renewable energy and solar investment tax credit.”

Last week, Senate Democrats unveiled a budget reconciliation bill that includes $369 billion in energy security and climate spending over the next 10 years. The bill contains tax credits to spur clean energy production, consumer incentives for energy efficiency and funding for transmission development. 

In announcing plans to enter the renewable energy market in August 2021, Rocket Mortgage rolled out a rate-and-term refinance product that allows borrowers to consolidate any solar panel with their mortgage for one interest rate. While the refinance was available to homeowners with Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program loans and private loans, the loan issued by Rocket Loans is a solar loan for homeowners looking to finance the equipment itself, the company said. 

“It allows people to lock in a payment today versus a majority of what they’ll be paying in their utility bill,” Gurman said. “We know that will continue to increase because it follows the inflationary path.”

Founded this year and operating in 16 states, Rocket Solar provides consulting, system design and offers solar panels to homeowners across the U.S. The company claims that Rocket Solar customers can save an average of $1,300 on their electric bill in the first year of their solar panel installment.

The move represents further diversification for Rocket Companies, which has branched out beyond mortgages into auto loans, home equity loans and personal loans over the last decade.

Inside Mortgage Finance reported that Rocket was the largest producing mortgage lender in the first half of this year. According to IMF, Rocket generated  $37.5 billion in originations in the second quarter of 2022, down 30.5% from the previous quarter. The Michigan lender is scheduled to issue second-quarter earnings on Aug. 4. The company reported a $1 billion profit in the first quarter.

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