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Old 08-05-07, 09:07 PM   #1
phantomcow2
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Anybody have experience with this solar company?

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?
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Old 08-06-07, 11:19 AM   #2
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Hmm, the problem I see is that if anything happens to the panels, the homeowner is liable... and they can get a lien on the home most likely, being able to possible foreclose and take the property.

Also, I just don't like the fact that by a contract, I have to allow people at any time they wish atop (or possibly in) my residence.

Solar is a good idea, and is a definite must, but regardless of good intentions, always read contracts carefully.
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Old 08-06-07, 11:28 AM   #3
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I own the sun. They are not licensed to use it's output. I am about to take legal action against them. You may want to alert your friend.

And the rest of you solar free loaders can take warning. I am coming after you.
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Old 08-06-07, 11:34 AM   #4
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What happens if you move? How is the deposit is returned after 25 years of them hanging onto the $500?

This does not seem to have much payoff to your parents. The only way I would even consider it is if they waived the deposit, took full responsibility and liability for the panels, and allowed you to end the contract at any time with no reason or cause.
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Old 08-06-07, 11:49 AM   #5
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Here is the company.

http://renu.citizenre.com/index.php?p=svc_overview

Not quite as described. Can go year to year, 5 year, 25 year. Looks like there is no ownership/liability issue, etc.

Just did a cursory read through, so I may well be wrong.
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