Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rental Solar Panels

It’s true that getting a solar panel for your home power needs is and effective way to immediately cut your impact on coal plants made power. Buying a solar panel costs a lot even then it’s an economically sound decision on long run.

As average homeowners can not afford to buy a solar panel, keeping this point in view some entrepreneurial companies had started solar panel leasing for interested homeowners.

Rental Companies

Citizenr’s REnU program is having several advantages over traditional solar panel purchase. The other solar panel releasing companies are:

  • FreEner-g is developed initially in Minnesota for serving the Minneapolis/St.Paul Area.
  • In Connecticut there is CT Solar Lease.
  • Serving for Arizona, California, and Oregon is SolarCity.

How These Companies Work?

Though the companies are having different terms and conditions but the basic thing about leasing solar panels is consistent in each package. To have that rental solar panel for your home needs you would have to deposit initially almost $500-$1,000. This deposit money you can refund at the end of your lease. This is the initial process after that solar panels are installed in your according to your household’s energy needs. Every month you would have to pay the rent to the company that leased the panels.

The power which is produced by the solar panels for your home flows back into the grid which causes the meter to run backward. These solar panels are available only for those places which are having net metering; means that the difference between what is produced and what is used can be tracked.

The Economics

There is a big difference between buying and renting the solar equipment. Let’s say if you buy the photovoltaic (PV) panels to power your home it will cost you almost $50,000. But if you buy it only for heating the water it will cost you around $6,000 which can be lowered more after rebates and tax credits and factored in. But there is one benefit of solar panel that it increases the value of your home and some areas allow you to sell power back to grid.

If you want to what it would cost you according to your area, Find Solar website is having a solar calculator that estimates costs of buying solar panels according to the location and few other factors. Keeping the above mentioned solar panel costs, its really hard for a common person to buy it, even if he do saving for ten years.

In such case only solar panel lasing is the way for a common person. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is having the complete information regarding leasing, rebates programs, loans, grants, incentives, exemptions, and many more for renewable energy and energy efficiency in each state.

Rental solar panels are having so small startup cost, and that is also possible to lock in a rate that will stay constant for the next 25 years but that depends on the rental period, that for how many years you will use it. In the beginning the costs for per month will exceed as the energy will be obtained from the grid. Anyhow the savings are likely based on the theory that the energy costs will continue to rise, but have no guarantee of paying off in the long run.

Though rentals are little riskier than buying panels but that will surely save you big money after a couple of decades. If we put a small variation in cost aside, solar power rental will allow hundreds of thousands of homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint and decrease dependence on non-renewable resources.

Currently it’s really difficult to predict that the costs for solar rental will be slightly higher, equal or lower than the traditional power from the grid, but one thing is for sure if this enterprise succeeded then it will be a good mark for environmental benefits.


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