Go Solar On The Cheap: How Solar Leasing Can Get You Into A Free Solar Power System
Posted on Fri, 03/11/2011 - 04:37 PM by John Clem
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If you're like most Americans, you like the idea of solar power, but much like early adopters of electric vehicles and fuel cell technology, the up front cost is often enough to keep the average consumer from seriously considering a solar power system. The government has generous incentives to get Americans to hop on the solar panel bandwagon, but even after any of the applicable tax incentives and rebates, for an average sized home, you're still looking at $20,000-$40,000 for a full solar power system. With an unstable housing market and a recovering economy, spending this kind of money on anything on your house may seem unreasonable, and that's where the concept of solar leasing comes into play; and this innovative idea can get you into a solar solution without breaking the bank.
How Does Solar Leasing Work?
Most people understand the concept of leasing a car or leasing an apartment, but when you're installing solar panels onto your house, the concept of leasing may raise a few questions. Most utilities (and more coming online all the time) support a type of energy metering called "net metering" which essentially means that if you normally use let's say 10kwH of electricity per day and your solar panels provide 12kwH, you just "gave" 2kwH back to the grid, then on a day where you use 14kwH, you would "take" 2kWh from the grid and be at a net of 0. Remember that at this point there are no solar leasing firms that support areas that do not have net metering, so check with your utility before you head too much further down the road of leasing.
How Much Does Solar Leasing Cost?
The main question on everyone's mind is going to be, "how much?" and that's the good news. Solar leases are setup to end up costing you less than you currently pay on your energy bill. The way this works is the solar leasing company will look at how many panels you would need to meet your current energy needs and then charge you a fixed rate that on average is about 5% lower than your current bill. 5% may not seem like a lot, but consider that this is a fixed rate, so while electricity is projected to rise by neural 400% in the next 30 years, your solar lease price will stay the same for as long as you lease the equipment.
Whether you're looking to go green, or simply insulate yourself from the rising energy costs around the corner, solar leasing is a solid choice for anyone who believe in the concept and the technology, but either can't afford or isn't comfortable putting a significant amount of money up front to purchase the panels.
Here are a few sites that can help out with solar leasing:
SOLAR ENERGY ARTICLES