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Is the Sun finally Rising on Solar Power?

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Posted by solarsavings@gmail.com on January 24, 2007, 6:42 am
 
Is the Sun finally rising on Solar Power?
In the past, "going green" usually implied sacrifice. You get to feel
good about saving the planet but most "green" products are more
expensive than their "dirty" counterparts. With this solar company,
going green can actually save you money, but more important you can
help save the planet and be part of the solution.

Date Released: 01/21/2007
In 1931, Thomas Edison had a conversation with Henry Ford and Harvey
Firestone. He said, "I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What
a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run
out before we tackle that." We have waited 76 years, but an innovative
company may have finally found a solution.
The sun supplies enough energy to earth in one hour to supply all of
our energy needs for an entire year. But currently solar power produces
less than 1/2 of 1% of our residential energy needs. Why?
In the past, solar power has been too expensive and too complicated. To
switch to solar, people had to invest their children's college fund or
sell their second car. The average consumer pays $0,000 to convert
their home to solar-plus you are responsible for the installation,
maintaining the equipment, getting permits-who has the time (or the
money)?
A new company has a bold plan to remove all of the traditional barriers
to solar power. They offer: No system purchase. No installation cost.
No maintenance. No permit hassles. No performance worries. No rate
increases. No way!?
When we first heard about this, we were so intrigued that we contacted
the company. It seemed almost too good to be true. Like most
innovations, their model is so simple it makes you wonder why no one
thought of it before.
You simply pay this company a monthly rental of their home Solar
system, at the same rate per kilowatt for power that you used to pay
your utility company-but it gets even better. This company will
guarantee that your rate per kilowatt will not go up for 25 years. With
ever increasing electricity rates, this gives consumers peace of mind
and can add up to significant savings. They even have a solar
calculator on their website that shows exactly how much you will save
over 1, 5, and 25 years. I saved over $3,000 and by using clean
energy, it was the equivalent of taking 24 cars off the road or
planting 400 trees. Nice.
In the past, "going green" usually implied sacrifice. You get to feel
good about saving the planet but most "green" products are more
expensive than their "dirty" counterparts. Now going green can actually
save you money and help the planet!
This is all made possible by net metering laws that require the utility
companies to allow renewable energy to flow into the grid and then
allow the consumer to pull that same amount of energy off of the grid
at no cost to the consumer. Basically the grid becomes a huge battery.
The meter spins backwards during the day when the sun is shining and
forwards at night when the consumer pulls that power back off the grid.

These laws were passed because residential energy production was the
number one cause of pollution in the US last year, but there are still
9 states that have not joined the party. If you live in Alaska,
Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, Kansas,
Nebraska, or South Dakota, the Citizenre Solution is not an option for
you yet.
We were still a little skeptical, so we asked Rob S____, the president
of their marketing division, some hard questions.
Q. How can you afford to install this complete solar system with no
upfront cost to the consumer?
A. Because we handle everything ourselves from the solar grade silicon
to the final installation, we create savings at each stage of the
production. Plus we are building the largest plant for solar power in
the world. When you combine our vertical integration with our economies
of scale, we are able to produce the final product at half the cost of
our competitors.
Q. This sounds like your company required a large amount of money to
make all this happen?
A. $50 million.
Q. Now I know why no one did this before you guys. So the customer does
not have to give any money to have this complete solar system installed
on their house?
A. We require a security deposit, typically only $00, at the time of
installation. They get this deposit back, with interest, at the end of
the contract. If they don't pay their bill and walk away from the
contract, they lose their deposit and we come take the system off their
roof. They are also required to pay a monthly rental for the solar
energy system.
Q. And how is that rent calculated?
A. By the amount of energy that the system produces.
Q. But they are paying the same rate they were paying before, right?
A. Often it is actually less. We base our rates on the yearly average
for their utility. So we have to base our rates on the prior year.
Since rates tend to go up each year, many customers will save money on
their first bill, and this will only increase as the years pass. We
provide a calculator on our website that will tell specifically what
they will save with their particular utility and their monthly usage.
Many customers save over $0,000 just by switching to the sun. Our
whole mission is to help people join the solution and stop being part
of the problem.
Q. I like that. How long of a contract do they have to sign?
A. One year, five years, or 25 years. Over 80% of our customers sign
the 25-year contract because that locks in their rate for the entire
term of the contract. If they sign a shorter contract, their rate is
recalculated according to current energy rates at the end of their
term.
Q. What happens if I sign a 25-year contract and I want to sell my
house in 10 years?
A. You have three options. First, you can ask us to move the system to
your new house. We do that one time for free. Second, you can transfer
the contract to the new owner. This can potentially add value to your
house because if energy rates keep going up like they are and they are
60% higher in 10 years, then your buyer would get a 60% decrease on
their energy bill because of your foresight. The final option is that
you can contact us, tell us that you just want to end the contract and
we will remove the unit. With this third option you do lose your
security deposit.
Q. So is my security deposit the most I can lose?
A. Obviously if you don't pay your bill there will be late fees or if
one of our franchisees comes out to your house to remove the unit and
you greet him with a shot gun and pit bull, we will have to take legal
steps to recover our property. But if the customer is cooperative they
should have no worries.
Q. Say I want a system on my house. How does it work? What is the
process?
A. One of our Independent Ecopreneurs will help you each step of the
way. There are some simple questions to answer about your amount of
shade, the direction of your roofline, etc. After you sign the
application, a solar engineer will come to the house to design your
personalized system.
Q. What if I don't like the design? Am I still obligated to the
contract?
A. No. You can back out of the contract with no penalty. You don't even
pay the deposit until after you approve the design.
Q. Okay. I like the design. I want the system. What's next?
A. The installation usually takes about half a day. The permit process
can take as much as 90 days depending on how cooperative the local
utility is, but we handle everything. All you do is sit back and feel
good knowing you are using clean energy to power your home.
Q. What happens if something breaks or goes wrong?
A. We have a complete worry free performance guarantee. If the unit
ever stops working, one of our franchisees will rush out to fix it for
free. The customer has no rental charges until the system is working
again so we are motivated to get it fixed fast.
Q. What if my kid hits a baseball through one of the panels?
A. It is just like renting a car or a TV. You are responsible for
returning it in good condition. We recommend that customers contact
their homeowners insurance to double check that the unit will be
covered under their policy. Usually there is not a problem.
Q. Wouldn't I save money in the long run if I just bought the system?
A. Actually, no. Renting can save you a significant amount of money,
and it protects you from a large investment risk. We can help the
consumer evaluate their options so they can make a solid decision. Our
goal is to have solar power producing 25% of our residential energy
supply by the year 2025. To make that happen, we removed every barrier
we could find to solar entry. We make solar simple.
Q. I understand that your manufacturing plant is not completed yet, is
that right?
A. Correct. The first systems will be ready to install beginning in
September of 2007.
Q. So why would someone sign up now?
A. First because they lock in their rate as soon as they sign up.
Second, they get in line so they can get their system sooner once the
plant is producing. Third, it also helps us show the market how many
people will go green if we provide an offer that makes sense on every
level, including economically. To quote Ghandi, "Be the change that you
want to see in the world."
Q. So how does someone sign up?
A. They just go to http://www.jointhesolution.com/solarsavings  and they
can apply for free right now.
----------------------------
Home Solar Rentals  LLC  http://www.g-o-s-o-l-a-r.com
----------------------------
We are an independent distributor of home solar PV system rentals. This
25-year fixed rate residential solar electric system rental program is
the first to allow homeowners in forty states to choose green energy
while eliminating the large upfront investment costs and premiums over
power purchased from electric utilities. The program offers the most
attractive terms in the solar industry.
The company manufactures, pays for, installs, permits, owns, maintains,
and operates the solar photovoltaic system installation. All homeowners
are required to do is to pay for the electricity generated from these
panels, at a fixed rate that is at or below their current electricity
price, for up to twenty-five years.

Doug Eide, solarsavings@gmail.com


Posted by Steve O'Hara-Smith on January 24, 2007, 10:09 am
 
On 23 Jan 2007 22:42:47 -0800


    Am I reading this right - the customer is paying for the energy
produced by the system they have installed and not for the energy they are
consuming ? Or is the consumer paying a rent for the installation and the
normal charge for the energy consumed over and above that of the
installation, in which case there is still no incentive to host a larger
system than the household requires unless they also get credit for energy
not consumed on site.

    NB: for me this is only of academic interest as I am not in the USA.

--
C:>WIN                                      |   Directable Mirror Arrays
The computer obeys and wins.                | A better way to focus the sun
You lose and Bill collects.                 |    licences available see
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Posted by Anthony Matonak on January 24, 2007, 4:44 pm
 Steve O'Hara-Smith wrote:

I believe the claim is that they will bill you for the amount of
electricity that the system produces. They say they will only
install enough panels to cover your average electricity consumption.

I think this is of only academic interest for anyone as they
haven't yet shown any signs of actually being able to live up
to their promises.

Anthony

Posted by dold on January 24, 2007, 11:26 pm
 
My installation took three days.  (Not Citizenre.)
One day unloading all the stuff and laying out roof mounting points.
One day mounting racks and panels.
One day, a short day, running wire and system checkout.

--
---
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA  GPS: 38.8,-122.5
http://cdold.home.mchsi.com/Solar-generation.htm


Posted by Anthony Matonak on January 25, 2007, 1:41 am
 dold@02.usenet.us.com wrote:

A couple of days is not unusual but how long it takes is mostly a
factor of manpower. There is a TV show called "Extreme Makeover
Home Edition" where they demolish and completely rebuild an entire
house in seven days. It takes hundreds of people to do this.
http://abc.go.com/primetime/xtremehome/index.html

I could imagine that a large experienced crew, maybe a dozen
guys, could deliver and install a system in half a day. Having
the micro-inverters and mounts pre-installed on the panels
would help speed the process.

Anthony

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