Sharp and Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC Launch Strategic Cooperation
- Published: Thursday, 09 August 2012 08:51
For many homeowners, financing their own solar energy system is a challenge. In conjunction with Hitachi Capital, Sharp is now offering a range of financing options for private investors and business customers. The scheme was launched in the UK in July and is planned to be extended to other European countries in the middle term.
Producing clean solar electricity on their own roof and becoming less dependent on large electricity companies – that is the dream of many homeowners who are committed to climate protection and wish to become more independent. However, financing a photovoltaic system often represents a challenge to any such project. Despite the significant fall in module prices in recent years, interest in funding assistance is rising.
To meet this demand, Sharp is now pleased to announce a cooperation agreement with Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC. Hitachi Capital is a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd. which, like Sharp, can also look back on a century of company history and is one of the 100 largest companies in the world. Since 1982, Hitachi Capital has been operating in the financial services sector in the UK where it has over 650,000 clients.
“This cooperation is an important step for us because our strategy is particularly focused on the field of small-scale systems for private households. And it is precisely this sector which has seen an explosion in demand for financing options in recent years,” says Peter Thiele, Executive Vice President Sharp Energy Solution Europe.
End customers can take up the financing options via a Sharp-certified installer. Installers achieve certification by qualifying during a training course at the Sharp Academy in Wrexham. On behalf of the end customer, the installer draws up a finance application to Hitachi Capital which, if approved, arranges for payment to be made to the installer or Sharp.
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Sharp. The combined offering of supply, installation and tailored, affordable, long term financing will be an attractive proposition for homeowners and businesses. Financing will be available (subject to credit approval) for terms of between seven and ten years for businesses and between three and ten years for private households. ”, says Robert Gordon, Chief Operating Officer of Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC.
For Sharp and Hitachi the benefits of this cooperation lie in the service which they are able to provide to the customer: “Our interfaces here are the installers. They not only advise the customers on a suitable module solution, but can also offer an attractive financing option. The customer therefore receives everything from a single source and has a direct, personal contact,” Thiele continues.
However, the Sharp and Hitachi schemes are not just available to private households. Business customers such as public institutions, large corporations, SMEs and other companies  can also take advantage of the funding from Hitachi Capital to invest in Sharp photovoltaic systems. “We are looking forward to our cooperation with Hitachi Capital. The introduction of our new PV kits is being launched initially in the UK. In the long term, however, we would like to extend these financing options to other target markets too, such as Spain and Germany,” adds Thiele in conclusion.
 Large corporations with annual sales in excess of GBP 50 million, limited companies which have been trading for at least three years and achieve annual sales of GBP 10 million, as well as partnerships of four or more persons. The minimum transaction value for business customers is GBP 25,000.
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