Don’t think residential solar leasing, which allows consumers to go to solar with little to no money down, is changing the landscape of solar in the U.S., not to mention the rooftops of America, more and more of which now have solar?
You might want to reconsider.
Leasing, at least for some solar companies, is radically growing their business. Take, for instance, the case of California-based Sungevity.
Sungevity, which is expanding rapidly nationwide, and which installed 4.7 megawatts of solar in 2010, reports that 95% of its business comes from solar leases.
The three-year-old Oakland-based solar installer recently began offering its solar lease option in sun-soaked Arizona and Colorado. Now, based in part on its success there and in California, it has announced plans to expand to the East Coast.
Purchase and lease options offered Sungevity isn’t necessarily biased toward leasing: It offers prospective customers leasing and purchase options so that they can compare the individual economic costs and benefits of both approaches.
Like many other solar companies, Sungevity is also using high technology to grow its business and improve its customer service, it says. The company uses satellite and aerial imagery to give a virtual example of what the panels will look like along with estimated costs and savings. Sungevity’s software automatically analyzes the roof angle, year-round exposure to sun, shade obstructions and provides customized design options for solar on a particular rooftop.
Sungevity focuses exclusively on residential solar installations. It has partnered with U.S. Bank to offer solar leasing to an increasing number of customers in a growing number of states.
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