Monday, March 26, 2012

Lease vs. buy solar


Leasing is designed to save you the majority of the upfront costs of buying. The number one stumbling block to installing solar is having to invest thousands of dollars up front. In many cases you can lease solar with no money down. This is a big benefit for people who don’t have a lot of capital, equity or who don’t want to take out a loan to buy a system.

You don’t have to pay to maintain the system with a solar lease. Typically you are not responsible for fixing the system if something goes wrong, breaks, or just wears out, this includes replacement of the solar inverter, which will have to be replaced somewhere between 10 and 15 years after the system is installed at present time would cost thousand dollars. Which all allows for peace of mind and worry free operation.

Leasing saves you money over utility produced electricity. As long as you have an optimal roof, which is south-facing roof and free of shade that can produce abundant solar electricity, as well as live in an area with good solar incentives, you’ll save money by buying electricity from a solar leasing company as opposed to from your utility. Most leases allow you to lock in a static electricity rate for 15 or more years, which potentially will save you more and more as electric rates charged by utilities continue to rise.


If you buy, you get all of the incentives and all of the long-term electricity savings. Of course if you need to take out a loan to buy a system, you’ll want to calculate the cost of interest into the total savings picture, and, if you’re inclined to look closely at the total savings picture, you might also want to calculate how much taking out a loan for a solar system will cost you elsewhere.

When you buy a solar system, it’s yours. All of the electricity you produce is yours and all that you over-produce is yours as well. This can be a tremendously satisfying feeling. Especially if you’re going to use your home solar system to power your home electric use and tens of thousands of miles per year in an electric car or two.

Buying offers you more flexibility and freedom. You have more freedom in terms of the size system you put on your home’s roof and where you put it when you buy than if you lease. Of course utility rebates, those rebates are typically contingent limits and rules about system efficiency and system capacity.

It might be easier to sell your home with a solar system you’ve bought. Potential buyers of your home might be turned off by having to sign on with a solar lease company. Then you must figure in buying out the lease to sell the home, with our without the panels.

When you buy solar, you make the money on the value solar adds to your home. If you do end up selling your home after you’ve benefited from several years, the money you've invested in your solar panels should repay itself in the price you’re able to ask and the extra money you make will be substantial.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How to Upgrade to Solar in Southern California for Less Than the Cost of Replacing Lightbulbs

Revolutionary solar power purchase agreements (or PPAs) are an easy and very inexpensive way for qualified homeowners to upgrade to solar.

Orange, CA (PRWEB) March 23, 2011

Upgrading lightbulbs from incandescent to CFL or LED is a great way to save money and be green. There is an easier way to have even more impact - by upgrading to solar power at no cost. Really.

Here are the requirements. 

  • A homeowner in Southern California with either Southern California Edison or Pacific Gas and Electric.
  • A flat roof or a pitched roof that faces East, West or preferably South
  • Have enough square feet on your roof (about the size of a living room).
  • The roof does not have trees or anything shading
  • Good credit.

It’s possible ever since Southern California’s largest installer Verengo Solar has partnered with SunRun. SunRun won the 2010 Clean Tech Crunchies ( for introducing the first residential solar Power Purchase Agreement (or PPA). A PPA is how residences currently buy electricity from their utility.

The traditional way to buy solar was to buy an entire solar power station - paying for everything upfront. What Verengo Solar and SunRun provide is a Residential Solar PPA that removes the upfront cost of solar. Instead of buying a whole power station, the homeowner - that meets the basic requirements above - will just buy the solar power they need by the kilowatt-hour, at a better rate than they are paying now. In effect SunRun is providing a solar power station on the residence for the privilege of being able to sell the solar electricity direct to the consumer. All the consumer has to pay for is the electricity they use from the system at a lower rate than they are currently paying.

Over five thousand people have already taken advantage of this revolutionary idea in California.

The advantages:

  • Start for nothing or a small fee
  • Pay only for the power consumed
  • Control your electricity and cost
  • Increase the homes marketability and value

Risk is removed because:

  • They select the panels and equipment
  • They install the system
  • They monitor and maintain the system
  • They insure the system, and guarantee its output

But it's not forever... 
Only progressive governments allow clean energy competition with traditional electricity providers make this possible, now. That could change. For example, the Arizona solar policy was created under the former Governor Napolitano. It is only a matter of time before it gets overturned.

What is the next step? 
Homeowners in Southern California can contact James Crossman of Verengo Solar by email jcrossman(at)goverengo(dot)com or fill out the Internet form at He can provide a no obligation assessment of a consumer's home, power usage and site. If the numbers make sense to the homeowner, James Crossman and his team at Verengo Solar will handle all the paperwork and oversee the process. Most solar installations take less than 2 days.

So which sounds better some boring new light bulbs or decades of clean solar power from a shiny new solar roof? Because now there is a way go solar for less than the cost of upgrading a home to CFL or LED light bulbs.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Solar Increases Home Value

With little to no upfront cost, a SunRun solar power system increases your home value in two ways.

By upgrading your home to solar with SunRun, you enjoy a lower electric bill immediately, and can earn more on your investment if you ever sell your house. Your SunRun agreement is easily transferable to a new homeowner

A recent study by ICF Consulting concluded that saving $1,000 per year on energy costs adds $20,000 to a home's resale value. Because a homeowner's energy savings increase as electricity prices go up, the value of a home solar power system also appreciates over time.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, a solar home will sell twice as fast as a home without solar panels – even in depressed markets. According to Shea Homes, the home resale value of California solar homes increased 55% while the home value of non-solar homes increased 45% during the same time period.

Lennar Homes and their partner SunPower demonstrated that home resale value of solar homes increase more quickly than non solar homes in early 2007. “Within eight communities that had homes without solar in Rocklin, CA, an average of 1.9 homes sold each month compared to a ninth community with solar homes which sold an average of 4.6 homes per month over the same time period.”

In another development, all 257 homes with solar in a San Francisco Bay Area development sold within a year of being put on the market – 2 years faster than planned. Plus, solar homes originally priced at $379,000-$499,000 had a home resale value for as much as $600,000.

New homebuilders are recognizing the importance of solar and reduced energy costs in home sale value and starting to put solar on new homes. Our recent partnership with Toll Brothers and PetersenDean provides new solar homes at The Preserve, a community of 90 luxury homes in California set to open in September 2010. The Preserve features solar energy as a standard feature. Homeowners have the choice to move into a brand new solar home and simply pay monthly for clean solar electricity, saving homeowners anywhere from $50 to $100 per month compared to those who opt out of solar. Based on the enthusiastic reaction of homebuyers at the Preserve, we expect to see more new homes communities built with solar.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

President Obama's goal for renewable energy by 2035.

President Obama speaks about how innovation and investment in clean energy technology can help create new American jobs and grow the economy as he visits Orion Energy Systems in Manitowoc, WI. January 26, 2011.