“The Solar Option”
GAF initiative offers building owners cost savings, new roof By Jason Barrett
Struggling with skyrocketing electricity prices and the heavy up-front investment required to put a quality roof over your building? Help is on the way.
Savvy building owners now have a convenient option to lower their energy costs while receiving, for a no- or low -money down payment, a state-of-the-art roof from North America’s largest roofing manufacturer. So says Jason Barrett, GAF’s executive director of renewable energy finance and investments, who detailed the company’s transformative ability to accesssolar financing for the benefit of building owners.
Having already deployed more than $100 million in tax equity financing with strategic partners engaging in residential and commercial solar projects, GAF believes in the market potential represented by solar power generated on rooftops. Far too often, solar opportunities are not pursued due to financing concerns, credit underwriting and roofing issues. It is important to place a dependable roof beneath any new solar installation.
As one of North America’s leading building products companies, we are in a unique position to solve these issues and are using our capital to address this underserved market.
Here’s how it works: GAF works programmatically with cash equity partners that provide a portion of the financing to install a solar system on a commercial building roof and a new or improved roof using GAF materials. In return, the building owner pays for power that gets produced from the solar system pursuant to a power purchase agreement.
A small portion of each payment made by the building owner under the power purchase agreement will offset the cost of the new or improved roof work. The offsetting of this cost is spread out through the entire term of the power purchase agreement, which is usually 20 years.
Building owners benefit for two reasons: First, the upfront discount that they receive on their utility bills as a result of using solar energy. Second, the building owner may avoid high up-front investment costs associated with renovating or replacing a roof.
In other words, everyone wins.
This type of rooftop solar financing structure is expected to attract $2.2 trillion of investment capital over the next 15 years. Given the reliability of the GAF brand and its financial stability, the company is an ideal partner. To date, GAF has attracted sophisticated investors such as private equity funds, hedge funds and public companies to serve as financing parties for a variety of solar projects.
Building owners are realizing that they have an amazing opportunity in front of them. We are a great partner for anyone who wants to save costs, free up cash flow and implement sustainable solutions.
Jason Barrett is the executive director of Renewable Energy Finance and Investments for GAF. Barrett, a capital markets expert who spent several years structuring deals at several investment banks (Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Merrill Lynch), joined the GAF team earlier this year.