In California, solar leasing is preferred over cash purchases. That means that property owners are looking for less expensive ways to switch to solar power, without the initial down payment and investment.
Solar panel leases offered by companies like SunRun allow people to enjoy the cost savings and other benefits of solar electricity without purchasing, owning or maintaining a solar array. Through a solar lease, property owners purchase the power generated by panels installed, owned and maintained by a solar company, at a lower monthly cost than electric utility bills.
As announced by SunRun and PV Solar Report, third-party-owned solar eclipsed cash purchase as the preferred way to go solar in California, representing about 59 percent of California’s home solar market in the third quarter of 201, and 51 percent of the market year to date.
According to SunRun President Lynn Jurich:
“In 2007 we introduced a way for homeowners to put solar panels on their roofs without having to spend $35,000 to buy and maintain the equipment. Families love it because they can lock in low rates for clean energy and start saving money right away. It’s great to see it finally get to a point where more families know this service is available, and to see them choose it over other options.”
While solar growth has increased in 2011, statistics in the PV Solar Report show that 3rd-party-owned solar grew by 67% in the third quarter of 2011, generating an additional $157 million in growth for the state of California. The increase in solar cash purchases was only about 17%.
SunRun’s solar lease program for residential solar was created in 2007 and grew at about 200% in 2010. Stephen Torres, founder and managing director of PV Solar Report comments:
“The message is clear that California homeowners are adopting 3rd-party-owned systems because access to solar power is better than ownership of panels. Business models like SunRun’s are not only allowing families to switch to solar without the high upfront cost of a cash purchase, but also helping local economies increase revenue and create jobs. We’re excited to see the growth trend continue.”
What are your thoughts on solar leasing, compared to cash purchases of solar panels? Do you own solar panels? Lease a solar system? Please let us know in the comments below.