Families and homeowners all across the U.S. are looking for ways to curb energy expenses and make a difference for the environment. One alternative that has been around since the 1970’s is home solar power. However, as attractive as home solar power is to homeowners who want to lower monthly expenses and make a difference for the environment the initial upfront costs of getting a system installed has kept most homeowners away from these systems.
Buying A Home Solar System – When Will It Make Sense?
Recent advances in technology in the solar industry have brought the expense of these systems down into closer range where they can be considered by more U.S. homeowners. Another factor that is making home solar power more attractive to homeowners is that energy from fossil fuels continues to increase.
A third group of factors worth considering when weighing whether to go solar at home are subsidies and tax credits being offered for these programs by local utilities and from local, state and federal governmental sources. For further information on ways to pay for a home solar system can be found in: Home Solar Electric Still Expensive – How To Pay For These Systems?
The SolarCity Home Solar System Lease – Making Sense Now
A new way to finance these systems was introduced to U.S. homeowners by California based SolarCity in April 2008. This option is with a lease. SolarCity’s solar lease is an excellent opportunity for homeowners to finance solar power for their home without the normal huge upfront expense that has historically been the case. SolarCity’s lease is a 15 year program that is available in a few states in the U.S. like California and Arizona. According to Jonathan Bass, the company’s Public Relations Director, the company has plans to roll their leasing program out nationwide when opening new markets makes sense for the company and for the area of the country.
While it seems like it would make sense to offer their leasing product anywhere in the U.S. there are several factors the company – just like any other company – need to consider. The first factor is that in some metropolitan areas the cost of grid power is still relatively low compared to the benefits and cost savings of a home solar system.
Another market characteristic that will have to change in order to make sense for SolarCity to take their company and the lease is where utility companies do not currently offer incentives to their customers for installing alternative green energy systems, or where states do not offer tax rebate and incentive programs. But in time as energy costs continue to rise, even these markets will ultimately make getting a solar system attractive to their customers.
When Is The Lease Not A Good Option?
In most cases, the solar system lease is a good option for homeowners who want to make the switch to green energy. However, there are situations where entering into a lease is just not a great financial move by the homeowner. Principally, if a homeowner is only going to live in a property for a few years the lease option is not a good idea. It will be expensive for the homeowner to get out of the lease since the homeowner hasn’t been able to pay into the lease very much.
In the case where a homeowner, or even a real estate investor, knows that they are only going to own a home short term, then the best bang for the buck is to purchase a home solar system with cash and roll those expenses into the sales price of the home as a capital improvement just like any other home improvement.
How Can A Homeowner Tell If A SolarCity Lease Makes Sense?
SolarCity has launched a state of the art home solar savings calculator; The SolarLease Calculator. Any homeowner can go to the SolarCity website: SolarCity.com and answer a few simple questions to get a sense of whether a lease option would be good for them. The solar savings calculator asks for the homeowner’s zip code and average monthly utility bill to get started. From the results page of the lease savings calculator a homeowner can take the next step to be contacted by a representative from SolarCity.
David Arfin, SolarCity’s executive responsible for the leasing program says about SolarCity’s lease, “the unique proposition of a solar lease from SolarCity is that it allows families to go with renewable green energy versus the standard grid polluting energy.” Visit SolarCity.com today to see if this solution is right for you and your home.