A friend of ours today was telling my parents and me about a solar setup he will be getting next year for his house. He wants us to sign up and use his name as a reference, as you get a reward for people you refer. I was wondering if anybody here knows anything about this. I can't remember the name of the company, but it might have been Citizenre corporation.
Basically here is how it supposedly works (according to our friend):
You sign a contract with this company that binds you for 25 years.
The company retains ownership of the solar panels. They install the panels, service the panels or other hardware associated with it. They own the panels, so you don't pay anything for the panels or installation or other hardware involved. After they are installed, the only thing you will have paid would be a 500 dollar security deposit.
You pay for the electricity that the panels generate. They use the rate that your electric company is currently charging you, 13 cents per KwH for us in NH. That rate is then fixed for the entire contract period.
Each panel has a circuit which logs the amount of energy generated, and relays this information back to the company (located in Delaware) via your phone line. The company then bills you accordingly.
So you aren't really saving money, but your monthly bill isn't increasing either, unless you use more energy of course. You just pay this company instead of your electric company.
At night, when you're not generating, you draw from the grid. So you're not 100% independent. You can install a battery setup though, but I think this is at your own expense. All energy that your panels generate can be fed back into the grid, if you don't use it. If your state does net metering, your power company will buy that electricity back from you (which NH does).
It sounds like this is a fantastic way to get people into solar. THe big obstacle that solar has, is that most people can't afford the initial investment. Seems like this eliminates that.
I was wondering what people here thought. Is this something that sounds like it's worth pursuing?