FYI on solar panels for the home

Posted: June 18, 2008 in Science & Research

Way before “Green” was in, yours truly always wanted to have a home that operated on solar power. I also wanted to have a solar powered car, but all the vehicles I have been following over the years both in magazines and on science documentaries moved too slow for me. Still, as a former engineer, the technology always had my attention.

Yesterday my wife told me about a conversation she had with someone who is paying roughly $80 a month for electric thanks to their solar panels. We have two AC units for our home and it was over 100 degrees yesterday, so of course I was ready to make the move.

From my quick searches, apparently both the federal and state governments are throwing all kinds of money to folks who want to take advantage of this technology in their home (you have to check with your state for the exact numbers).

Okay! I’m fired up, ready to make the move and……COST. The price range I kept finding was anywhere between 13k to 24k for both the system and installment. After running the numbers and reading the comments of other consumers on related websites, that kind of investment would take years to see an overall return—especially if you plan on selling your house in the next 3-10 years.

Just when I was about to give up hope and watch the pathetic Lakers, I came across a company out here in California that actually has a leasing program for their solar panels. For them, it was a 15 year lease that was transferable if you had to move, $85/mo. , and maintenance was included during the full term of the lease. The program I am talking about gives all the details here. (please note: I am only linking to them because I could not find any other company that explained their leasing program in such detail. They did not ask for the link). According to them, the $85/mo plus the reduced amount you pay for electric thanks to your panels still equals to less than what you would pay being on the grid.

Qualification

This particular company wants a 720 credit score if you want to lease from them. I think we can keep it real by saying that takes most of us out of the equation (Wellll? Can I talk about it?). Still, it is yet another reason why you should work on improving your credit, right?

Check out the solar panel companies in your area. You could be saving a lot of money this summer.

***HERE’S SOMETHING ELSE I FOUND***

Citizenre is another company worth checking out. Very low down payment ($1000-2000). My advice to you, please do your homework on them FIRST! In fact, I am going to link to their Wikipedia entry. Read that first, then proceed from there.

***UPDATE***

After reading some other websites, Citizenre sounds like a scam. Use caution.

Again, I am totally down with using renewable energy. But it has to economically make sense—for me at least.

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