Residential Solar Lease Makes Home Solar Panel System Affordable

SolarCity, a California based Solar Company, has released the U.S.’s first long term residential solar system lease that makes installing a home solar panel system affordable for many U.S. households. According to David Arfin, SolarCity’s VP of Finance, “SolarCity’s lease option allows a homeowner to affordably switch to clean energy away from the polluting power sources of the traditional electricity grid for no huge upfront costs and for approximately the same or less monthly payment that they make to their local utility company.”

Solar Lease Makes Grid Parity Possible
Further, Arfin states, “The lease option from SolarCity makes Grid Parity possible now rather than later into the future. Granted the costs of Photovoltaic Energy (PV) have been coming down in the past few years, the lease option bridges the gap that still exists in the market to allow homeowners to make the switch to green energy that they want to make now, versus continuing to wait.” Grid Parity is defined as the point where the price of solar energy equals the price of grid energy.

Leasing A Home Solar System To Increase Homeowners Switching To Green Energy
While there are the traditional ways of paying for a home solar system, which are covered in Home Solar Electric Still Expensive – How To Pay For These Systems?, most if not all of these financing alternatives require a rather sizeable upfront expense to be paid by the homeowner. With the large upfront expense necessary to get a home solar system, the residential solar power industry has been slow to get started in the U.S. But, SolarCity with its lease program is set to jump start the number households turning to this form of electricity to power their home.
According the Jonathan Bass, SolarCity’s Director of Public Relations, “unlike some of the traditional ways to finance a solar system for the home where a loan is tied to the home’s equity, the lease stands on its own. The home’s equity remains untouched and in the hands of the homeowner with our lease program. The only requirements to get into the SolarCity’s lease program are that the homeowner has to pay $1,000 and have a credit score of over 720 to qualify for the program. This is a huge feature of the program and should help to remove a major barrier that most homeowners face when considering making the switch to green energy for their home.”

Can I Terminate My Lease?
One hesitation a homeowner might have about getting into a long term lease is what can be done about it when it comes to time to move. After all, who wants to carry the expense of a lease for a solar system if they move and can’t easily take the system with them to their new home? SolarCity has made terminating the lease pretty simple. They offer several solutions for lease termination.

The first and probably the best option that makes the most sense is assigning the lease to the new owner at the time the home sells. The new owner would have to qualify with their credit scores, but the transition is pretty simple to complete.

The next option to terminate the lease is that the current homeowner can buyout the lease and sell their home for a premium. The solar system is then sold an upgrade to the home just like any other home improvement. The only difference with the solar system is that it goes beyond a traditional home improvement project like a new roof in that it actually helps a future homeowner to lock in savings on their future energy bills. On a sale, the new owner could also elect to purchase the system.

The last option for terminating the lease would be at the end of the lease period of 15 years where SolarCity can come and remove the panels from the home.

If you are a homeowner and have wanted to get solar power installed in your home but didn’t want to, or couldn’t pay a huge expense upfront then look no further than SolarCity, Inc. If you are a curious home owner and looking for more information on solar power for the home visit the SolarCity website. Try out their state of the art solar power savings calculator to see what a solar system for your home might do for you. Fill out their simple form get started form and they will have an in house salesperson contact you about your questions. Good luck and go solar.