Solar AI Technologies, a Singapore based tech-startup funded by global energy giant Engie Group, has recently announced that it will be launching Singapore’s first ever Rent-To-Own (RTO) solar program.

Primarily catered to landed homeowners in Singapore, the RTO solar program will provide customers the option to receive a solar panel system on their roof with zero-upfront cost, with complimentary service and maintenance, Solar AI Technologies said in a statement.

Traditionally, the only method to acquire a home solar panel system in Singapore would be as an upfront purchase, which can cost anywhere between SGD$10,000 ($6983) to SGD$50,000 ($34,917).

The hefty upfront cost of purchasing a solar panel system, coupled with the lack of trust in solar as an alternative energy source, has gated further adoption of rooftop solar amongst property owners.

Solar AI Technologies launched the RTO model to provide homeowners the option to purchase solar at zero upfront costs. This provides property owners with a risk-free way of getting solar on their roofs, easing them into solar ownership with a token sum transfer at the end of the five or ten year contract period.

Under RTO, property owners would only need to foot a much more affordable monthly fee for solar. This flat monthly fee is expected to be 20 percent to 50 percent lower than their original electricity bills, allowing them to enjoy instant total electricity bill savings, as well as effectively safeguarding them against rising energy prices.

On top of the option to get solar at zero upfront cost, the RTO program guarantees a minimum energy production and provides complimentary service and maintenance for their solar panel system, giving each and every customer full peace of mind.

Currently, less than 3 percent of landed homeowners in Singapore have installed solar. The RTO program has the potential to be a major lever driving higher solar adoption rates.

Within two months of its pilot launch, nearly 20 customers have chosen to sign on to the program.

Solar AI Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Bolong Chew noted that customers are 300 percent more likely to eventually go through with getting solar under the Rent-To-Own program as compared to the usual direct purchase model.

Aside from the RTO residential program, Solar AI Technologies is also providing small and medium enterprises and industrial property owners the option of zero upfront cost solar.

While there are options to purchase solar on a monthly basis via power purchase agreements (PPA) by traditional solar companies, these are only available to large corporations with a large roof space of at least 2500 square metres.

Solar AI is the first to offer zero upfront cost solar to both residential and small commercial owners.

Getting started for the RTO program is extremely simple. Customers can first generate an instant estimate of their rooftop solar potential and potential electricity savings via Solar AI’s free online solar assessment tool, which only requires one’s address and electricity bill information.

Then, they can submit a few additional documents online to allow Solar AI to generate precise quotes for their solar installation, where customers can choose between RTO and upfront purchase.

The solar panel system will be installed within a week on average, and customers can start enjoying savings with solar-powered electricity.

Singapore solar energy firm SUN Energy raises $25M Series A funding, valuing the company at $200M