May 5, 2016 – Tampa, Fla. – Energy Sense Finance, LLC (ESF) was awarded $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to fund further development of the PV Value® tool through 2017. PV Value® allows appraisers, builders, Realtors® and mortgage lenders to attribute a value to solar energy, making it easier for consumers and transaction process professionals to understand the value that solar adds to residential and commercial buildings. This award follows an earlier $225,000 from the Department of Energy in 2014, bringing the total non-dilutive seed capital raised to nearly $2 million.
“We are honored to receive this multi-year funding, which recognizes our first mover position and recent accomplishments in accelerating the adoption of PV Value® among real estate, appraisal and lending professionals,” stated ESF founder Jamie Johnson. “This round of funding allows us to increase current talent levels for research and development, enabling us to improve upon existing valuation algorithms, datasets and analytics.”
ESF is the largest developer of energy related valuation software in compliance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). This recent award will accelerate the development of the company’s valuation tools, building upon an innovative process started by ESF’s team in 2009. It will also allow ESF’s developer and data science teams to improve upon the current PV Value® tool, and create a new data-centered enterprise SaaS platform, Ei Value®, for transaction process professionals, with the goal of increasing widespread adoption among consumers and professionals for use in the home valuation and mortgage lending process. PV Value® uses site-specific datasets and valuation-related analytics to develop value for solar PV improvements.
The development of an accurate valuation tool for solar PV enables lenders to reduce their risk exposure due to collateral uncertainty, in the process providing consumers greater access to lower interest rate mortgage and loan products than what is currently available.
“You will be able to finance solar installations with your conforming purchase or refinance mortgage soon,” Johnson stated. Understanding the value that solar panels add to a residential or commercial property is integral to increasing the adoption rate of solar PV among consumers. Being able to develop accurate valuations for solar throughout its lifecycle has the potential to enable the financing of a million plus solar installations per year, bringing about the next order of magnitude in the nationwide solar adoption rate.
This follows other recent announcements about the PV Value® tool:
- “PV Value®” featured in a White House - U.S. Dept. of Energy press release announcing “A New initiative to Increase Solar Access for All Americans” which also announced “A New DOE Solar Working Group to Save Households on Their Energy Bills”, an initiative aimed at increasing solar installations on new homes.
- Appraisers confident Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will back mortgage loan when using “PV Value®”.
- “PV Value®” featured at a White House - U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development round table.
- Valuation of solar using “PV Value®” published in Prestigious, peer-reviewed, Appraisal Journal.
- USPAP Compliant “PV Value®” endorsed by the Appraisal Institute – the largest Association of Appraisers.
About the SunShot Initiative
The U.S. Deptartment of Energy SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot.
About Energy Sense Finance
Energy Sense Finance is the largest provider of USPAP compliant valuation software, datasets and related analytics for solar, energy storage, wind and energy efficient improvements on residential and commercial buildings through both their consumer audience-driven PV Value® and enterprise-driven Ei Value® SaaS platforms.