Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Thought you couldn't afford solar panels?

Now there's an affordable and totally attainable solution! I was so happy to find that there is a way to have solar panels without spending the $25,000-30,000 for a 3 kW system. Unfortunately, we don't live in the Austin Energy service area, so we don't get to take advantage of their generous rebates AE members get (something like 75% of the costs!).

Basically, a company called CitizenRE, would rent you the solar panels and you buy the energy produced from those solar panels at about the same cost or much cheaper than what your electric company charges at a 25 year locked in rate if you sign the 25 year contract! CitizenRE would handle the installation and maintenance, and you only need to put in a deposit, but at least there's no big system purchase to worry about and the contract is transferrable if you sell your house. More details can be found on the CitizenRE site, and there's even a nifty solar calculator:


I like the part about how many trees you save, your carbon print on the planet and how many autos you take off the street.

I found Christian Soeffker's profile, an Independent Ecopreneur of CitizenRE, on an Austin Meetup board. He filled me in on how this is done, so if you contact him, please tell him where you heard about it!

4 comments:

Michael said...

Unfortunately- Citizenre has no panels (product) at present and has made claims that have experienced solar pros skeptical about whether they can deliver or their business model is viable.

Jan & Myleen said...

Yes, I have actually talked to the consultant guy and he did tell me that they are about a year from completing a panel production plant, so they won't be able to deliver until next year. Right now, all they can do is sign you up with no obligation and notify you when it's available. Since we are building our house that won't be ready until next year, then it suits us fine. It's a great concept though, and really hope that it takes off!

maxmsf said...

There are some fantastic business models swirling around these days related to solar, with the capital requirements issue made even more interesting when (some) governments will buy back power from customers, but only if you hit a certain level of power production. This (Citizenre's) seems like a neat and easy one if they can make it work.

Christian Soeffker said...

Michael, you are right. Allot of solar pros are skeptical, but what do you loose if they where right? Is it worse to miss the chance? If you are thinking of buying a solar system right now, you should and you'll find a link on my site where Solar companies are listed. Citizenre is actually incouraging you to buy a system right now, if you can afford it. If not, we can be the solution for you. It's your choice. Please contact me for any further question that might arise.
Christian