Materials solar power

Published on July 13th, 2010 | by Susie Kim-Carberry

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Energy Efficiency on a Budget: Lease Your Solar Power

One of the best ways to go green and save money for homeowners is solar power. However, the upfront costs of installing a solar power system can be a deterrent for even the most Environmentally minded consumers. Now there is a program which can off fray the initial cost of solar energy in the home by offering home owners to lease instead of purchasing their energy efficient electricity. The solar financing product, Solar Power Purchase Agreements (SPPAs) were introduced earlier this month.  In a statement by the EPA:

“A Solar Power Purchase Agreement (SPPA) is a financial arrangement in which a third-party developer owns, operates, and maintains the photovoltaic (PV) system, and a host customer agrees to site the system on its roof or elsewhere on its property and purchases the system’s electric output from the solar services provider for a predetermined period.”

According to Residential Solar 101, “With SPPAs, a company retains ownership of the solar power system and you simply buy the power the system produces for a set contract period. Similarly, solar leases are growing in popularity and are yet another way to access to clean renewable energy.” Here’s how it works

  • There is usually no down payment;
  • There is a 10 to 20 year contract period, which is transferable to a new owner or home.
  • Each month you pay a lease payment which covers the solar power system that produces a portion of the electricity you use and the rest of the electrcity you need is purchased from the utility.
  • The leasing company may take care of maintenance and repairs and monitor your system (not always the case).
  • Like a SPPA, you will not receive the 30% federal tax credit or state rebates or Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).
  • As with SPPAs, there is usually an option to buy the system outright at the end of your term for a set price.
  • You will need to have a good to excellent credit – somewhere around the 680 mark

In an article by Clean Techies, there is the question; how can companies like SunRun, Sungevity, and SolarCity provide a zero down or $1000 down solar lease while charging less per month than a utility company?  According to David Belden,

“In order to make the business model work, solar leasing companies must raise significant amounts of capital, normally from tax equity investors or from commercial lenders.  This capital, often referred to as “project finance”, allows the solar leasing company to make the upfront purchase of solar components and to pay for installation. Solar leasing companies collect the federal “Solar Investment Tax Credit”, as well as any applicable state/local incentives associated with the project”

Finances aside, Solar leasing program provides tremendous benefit to home owners who can not afford the upfront costs of solar energy system. It also has the added advantage that most solar leases do not require maintenance by the homeowners. Any repairs are usually covered by the leasing company.  While it may seem that there are only advantages to solar leasing; there are some disadvantages.  “In the long run through a SPPA, you will likely end up with a smaller return on your investment than if you owned the system outright.”  And there is no added benefit of the whopping 30% federal tax credit or Renewable Energy Credit (REC) for the homeowners. Despite its disadvantages; this is the best budget option for homeowners who want energy efficient home without the financial stress and the responsibility of owning a solar power system.

Source: CleanTechies, ResidentialSolar101

Photo Source: stock.xchng; huntr004

Cartoon, advertisement had true meaning of Christmas

The Pantagraph Bloomington, IL January 11, 2005 What a blessing we received on Christmas morning when I found The Pantagraph’s full page Christmas greeting from Hobby Lobby! go to website christmas card sayings

This was truly a gift after all the commercial fill the last months. The black and white greeting was a large Christmas card saying, “Born that man no more may die…” above an absolutely gorgeous painting of St. Joseph cuddling the newborn Jesus while the Christ child’s mother Mary sleeps.

This picture beautifully depicts Joseph as caregiver, protector and provider for the Holy Family. Thanks to Hobby Lobby for this gift and its presence in our community. go to site christmas card sayings

The Pantagraph editorial cartoon Christmas Day was also in tune with the spiritual meaning of Christmas. As a child tells Santa that he, Santa, is the star of Christmas, Santa sees the Star of Bethlehem out the window and says — “I don’t think so.” Thanks to The Pantagraph staff for choosing that cartoon. Bill and Pat PenceBloomington




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About the Author

Susie Kim-Carberry is a professional writer who's been featured in numerous publications, both in print and online. She started as a features writer for The Bayonet Newspaper in 1997 and studied print journalism at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Media. Kim-Carberry is currently focusing on online media as a freelance writer, content producer and also serves as a site editor for Important Media. A self-confessed travel addict, her other equally important job is being a semi-crunchy mom to her two daughters. She tries to maintain a balanced life through her yoga practice and secretly dreams of being a Parisian one day.



  • mbmb mbmb

    Tht title of your article is misleading. Solar power is not the same as energy efficiency. It is important to complete the energy efficiency upgrades first, such as sealing ducts, retrofitting lighting and HVAC equipment, insulating, etc. BEFORE installing solar power. If you install solar before you do EE, you will be generating power that isn't needed.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/JollyGreenGirl JollyGreenGirl

      Energy efficiency and renewable energy are said to be the twin pillars of sustainable energy policy which to means one and the same.

      I do agree with your excellent point that energy efficient upgrade should come first before installing solar power. However, the point of my article and the semantics of my title was trying to convey the idea that solar power is more energy efficient than conventional coal generated electricity.

      GBE Editor

  • mbmb mbmb

    Tht title of your article is misleading. Solar power is not the same as energy efficiency. It is important to complete the energy efficiency upgrades first, such as sealing ducts, retrofitting lighting and HVAC equipment, insulating, etc. BEFORE installing solar power. If you install solar before you do EE, you will be generating power that isn't needed.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/JollyGreenGirl JollyGreenGirl

      Energy efficiency and renewable energy are said to be the twin pillars of sustainable energy policy which to means one and the same.

      I do agree with your excellent point that energy efficient upgrade should come first before installing solar power. However, the point of my article and the semantics of my title was trying to convey the idea that solar power is more energy efficient than conventional coal generated electricity.

      GBE Editor

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  • http://www.energycredits.com Mike Scutari

    This seems interesting – the EPA is essentially propping up an industry to directly compete with traditional utilities, since people can't afford to create their own solar power can now lease it. Off the top of my head I can't think of other instances in which the government aggressively funds a nascent industry like this, though I'm sure it happens all the time (we call it "corporate welfare," I guess.) The libertarian in me is concerned; where is the demand?

    Either way, the traditional utilities need new lobbyists.

  • http://www.energycredits.com Mike Scutari

    This seems interesting – the EPA is essentially propping up an industry to directly compete with traditional utilities, since people can't afford to create their own solar power can now lease it. Off the top of my head I can't think of other instances in which the government aggressively funds a nascent industry like this, though I'm sure it happens all the time (we call it "corporate welfare," I guess.) The libertarian in me is concerned; where is the demand?

    Either way, the traditional utilities need new lobbyists.

    • http://Web Susan Kraemer

      So right!

      Me too, when I want to go out and buy MY coal power plant to make MY electricity, I buy it for cash.

      I don’t need no stinking guvmmint-funded railroad system to haul the coal from the mountain to my backyard to fire up MY coal plant.

      I carry each lump of coal one by one.

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  • http://www.brightstarsolar.net CT Solar Installer

    I just wanted to make everyone aware that the state of Connecticut offers a solar lease program. Funding has dried up for this program earlier in the year. Pending the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund board approval, the program may start accepting applications again very soon.

  • http://www.brightstarsolar.net CT Solar Installer

    I just wanted to make everyone aware that the state of Connecticut offers a solar lease program. Funding has dried up for this program earlier in the year. Pending the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund board approval, the program may start accepting applications again very soon.

  • http://www.gfxtechnology.com Dr. CF Vasile

    Solar systems with a GFX waste-water heat recovery system, as discussed in RMI's Home Energy Brief #5 @ http://gfxtechnology.com/RMI-HE-5.pdf, will be most attractive for leasing because payback is dramatically shortened whenever solar energy wasted down-the-drain is recycled.

  • http://www.gfxtechnology.com Dr. CF Vasile

    Solar systems with a GFX waste-water heat recovery system, as discussed in RMI's Home Energy Brief #5 @ http://gfxtechnology.com/RMI-HE-5.pdf, will be most attractive for leasing because payback is dramatically shortened whenever solar energy wasted down-the-drain is recycled.

  • http://www.sunrunhome.com Nami Sung

    Great article, Susie. Just wanted to mention that SunRun's hosting a webinar series, in which the founders will answer your questions about home solar, solar leasing, etc. live. So, if you have additional questions about SunRun or home solar financing/leasing/PPAs or how solar can impact your home value, you can submit questions to questions@sunrunhome.com and we'll answer them live on video. The first webinar video (first one was recorded) is up – about solar financing and solar leasing (http://www.sunrunhome.com/why-solar/solar-video)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/JollyGreenGirl JollyGreenGirl

      Thanks for the comment and update, Nami. I am sure home owners would be interested in learning more about solar leasing and financing through the Webinar which is an excellent idea. Very excited about this new prospect and option for homeowners interested in solar energy.

  • http://www.sunrunhome.com Nami Sung

    Great article, Susie. Just wanted to mention that SunRun's hosting a webinar series, in which the founders will answer your questions about home solar, solar leasing, etc. live. So, if you have additional questions about SunRun or home solar financing/leasing/PPAs or how solar can impact your home value, you can submit questions to questions@sunrunhome.com and we'll answer them live on video. The first webinar video (first one was recorded) is up – about solar financing and solar leasing (http://www.sunrunhome.com/why-solar/solar-video)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/JollyGreenGirl JollyGreenGirl

      Thanks for the comment and update, Nami. I am sure home owners would be interested in learning more about solar leasing and financing through the Webinar which is an excellent idea. Very excited about this new prospect and option for homeowners interested in solar energy.

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