Home solar: hype, or hope?
Residential solar company SunRun believes Americans are increasingly interested in the technology, and to prove it, the company has opened new offices in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in response to demand.
A typical nugget of corporate news, sure. But it's a small but positive sign for the burgeoning solar industry -- after all, a business wouldn't open an office if there weren't sales to be made. It's also a way to stoke green job growth in these states.
SunRun's business model is structured so that it owns, installs and maintains the panels, removing the significant upfront costs (the price of a mid-size family sedan: $30,000 or more) from the equation.
Homeowners pay a low monthly rate for the power, locking in costs for a 20-year time period. It's somewhat akin to the idea of a lease or condominium, with slightly different execution.
Naturally, the company is seeing lots of interest as the East Coast continues to be battered by late spring heat waves, prompting air conditioner use and sending electricity bills through the roof.
One nice aspect about the company's business model is that it smooths the administrative red tape for the homeowner. With paperwork falling mostly on SunRun's shoulders, it isolates the customer from navigating the varied policies and incentives each state has for solar.
When you're sweating it out in 100-degree weather, that's a welcome bit of fresh air.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com