For Rent: Solar Panels

by Owner on January 6, 2009

istock_000006548644smallHave you wanted to lower your reliance on fossil fuels by using solar energy but didn’t want to go to the hassle or expense of building and owning a solar power system on your roof? Nobody could blame you for ditching those solar panel plans in disgust–not only could it cost tens of thousands of dollars, but you would also be left behind as newer and more efficient technologies come to market (such as thin film solar).

Now, that’s a problem of the past. Introducing CitizenrÄ“, a company that will mount a residential solar panel system for you and maintain it, in exchange for your payment of rent. You make no system purchase, have no installation costs and pay no maintenance fees. They mount and maintain the whole thing for you. Once they do, you simply enjoy off-the-grid solar electricity.

The rent you pay is based on the size and capacity of your solar power system, which in turn is determined by your average electricity use. You can sign a lease in varying lengths of up to 25 years, thus locking in a fixed price that becomes better and better as energy prices and inflation continue to increase. If you need more electricity at some point than the system provides, you purchase the difference from your power company. If you generate more electricity than you use, you can actually sell it back to the power grid and gain a credit you can use when you need excess power in the future.

Thinking of moving before the lease is up? You can cancel it, transfer it to the new owners, or you can even move the system to your new house for free!

In short, the company is making every effort to make solar power an effortless exercise for the homeowner. You essentially get free solar panels and pay for their usage. You do need to own your home and have enough roof space for the system, and you also have to live in a net-metered jurisdiction (which allows you to sell excess power back to the grid). Citizenre’s website has all the information you need to determine eligibility and to sign up for a representative to visit your home.

Not only will the savings add up over time into the tens of thousands of dollars, but you almost completely remove your carbon footprint at home by using solar electric power instead of fossil fuels. The business model and the company are young, but I’ll bet that this method of making solar power readily available to people will take off as we increase our push towards renewable energy.

If you can, give them a call and try them out. If you do, I’d love to hear your experiences with the company.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Home Solar Energy September 10, 2009 at 1:59 am

Its a good idea if you cannot afford a self owned solar system. But if money isn’t a problem or even if its just a bit more than you can afford, then do go the whole way and buy a solar installation. In the long run you will be much better off then renting.


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