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dubone

Rentable Solar Systems

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Companies exist now that own and operate a solar panel system on your roof, and use a rental fee system based entirely on the output of the solar system, at the rates you currently pay for fossil fuel electricity from the power company.

I have had a revelation recently about this very obvious concept, yet it was something did never occured to me. I am so happy that such a company exists, and I would hope that it become ubiquitous! I am seriously thinking of doing this whenever the time comes.

I had looked before at actually buying a system and installing it on the roof of my home. It was like I had to become an expert in electrical science, financial analysis, and building codes in order to do it. It seemed like it was to cost me 20k or so and it wouldn't have a payoff for 20-30 years. There would be no guarantee that I'd get a compensation amount of value from it with the sale of my home, so it just never seem practical to do.

This new approach takes the technical and financial risks off of you and me, the consumer, and puts it onto a corporation for entitlement to a small profit. One example: renu.citizenre.com .

The concept is brilliant. You and I don't have to pay an upfront fee when the power company builds a new coal plant (as my power company is doing now). Instead, the financing and technical risks are taken on by the company. By doing something similar with a solar system, you are basically giving them ownership of the system, in return for buying the output of that system for the current electric rate (fixed at the time of purchase and not variable). So you benefit from getting solar energy from your home with no variable costs or upfront costs, but the company acting as a utility gets free land on which to place the equipment, and no overhead costs from power lost in transmission.

The best thing, however, is that it is technically a rental, so if you sell your house and the new owners do not want to participate, the company will simply haul away the equipment and reuse it elsewhere for the remainder of its lifespan.

Does anyone know of other companies using this approach? Now that you have heard of it, would any of you greenies try it?

I love the concept. If I can make the aesthetics work, I am seriously considering doing this.

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I've seen this company. The concept is certainly interesting. Unfortunately, I am a renter, so that complicates my situation. Also, I don't know how viable current solar technology is, it isn't terribly efficient, expensive, and I believe soon to be replaced by superior solar technologies. Still, with out-of-pocket money being really only the $500.00 refundable deposit, it doesn't seem too bad!!! There must be string attached somewhere......????

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There might be a string somewhere that I'm missing, although to me, this is simply making solar energy more like other businesses. They are basically operating like a utility, only they do not have to pay for any land, property taxes, etc. It would seem that such a business is an amazing start for mainstreaming solar energy. I'm sure they'll upgrade their products as the technology advances. I'd like to see more building integrated photovoltaics, which look more like roofing tiles. The aesthetics are the major negative to solar panels in my view, most houses just don't look right with them.

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