Fossil fuels have powered the development of civilization and technology for more than a century, but the effects of oil and coal on the environment are now driving interest in alternative energy sources. With Tesla’s new Powerwall and solar power leasing, it seems that solar power, in particular, is becoming a more viable and affordable option for renewable energy. Homeowners now have a prime opportunity to explore many of the environmentally friendly options for powering their homes.
Until recently, solar panels were rarely used by homeowners because of high cost, and cumbersome installation. Even when homeowners have expressed interest in getting their own solar power system, many banks have been reluctant to finance such small projects. Solar leases address most of these issues. By signing a contract with solar leasing companies, homeowners can have solar panels installed on their home for free. Homeowners then lease the panels on a monthly basis and enjoy a variety of perks along the way.
SolarCity, a firm headed by South African CEO Elon Musk and headquartered in San Mateo, California, has pioneered the solar leasing business in the United States. With lease payments lower than what homeowners would pay for electricity from the local grid, SolarCity starts saving homeowners money as soon as they install the panels for free. Upgrades, insurance and repairs are all part of the deal.
Other companies, including Google, are now entering the market. Other American companies offering solar leases include Vivint Solar, Clean Power Finance, SunPower and Sunrun. Some of these companies, such as SolarCity, market their products themselves while many others let their installers handle sales. More than half of the companies install panels while the rest contract with installers around the country.