Solar For Lease: Citizenrē Lights Up

October 9, 2007 by  

Here’s an innovative concept: Solar Leasing. This company will, starting in 2008, lease solar home systems, maintain them, and install them (with no upfront costs) for the same price as what you pay for electricity now.


It’s called the Citizen REnU program. Watch a video with Ed Begley, and check out the basic info “here”: Essentially, you pay to Citizen what you would normally pay to your existing electricity supplier during the lease term, which runs in one, five and thirty year increments. But you lock in the rate at the beginning of each term, so even if your electric company raises its rates during the same period, you’re not affected. Plus, you stay on the grid in case the solar system fails or runs low on solar reserves.

It sounds like a winning concept for the environment (no greenhouse gases from solar energy), and for the consumer (no rate increases, no purchase or installation costs, or maintenance issues for what would otherwise be a very costly venture). The company is taking orders now for launch in 2008. It sounds great, but I haven’t read all the fine print and am always cautious about working with a company that’s still tweaking their operations and their local installers (especially since we live in a rural area).

If anyone takes them up on the deal, tell the rest of us how it goes. But if they can make this system work, what a great step toward solar energy for all. If they deliver as promised, and they service my area, we’ll be certain to sign up. Check out Citizen REnU at “”:


4 Responses to “Solar For Lease: Citizenrē Lights Up”

  1. Michael on July 28th, 2008 6:53 pm

    This program has tons of promise, it seems that they are behind schedule. We reserved a system months ago, and are still currently waiting for a system.

  2. New Green on July 29th, 2008 6:21 pm

    We feel your pain. Last time we contacted the company they were negotiating additional funding with investors because they were so overwhelmed.

  3. Sunnyboy on November 9th, 2008 1:42 am

    When you lease a solar system you don’t get the new 30% tax credit or the huge cash rebate or the valuable RECs(renewable energy credits) and all you’d be lucky to save is about $25.00 a month on a typical $250.00 electric bill after going through all the trouble of being locked into a lease for all those years. And after more than 10 to 15 years of lease payments you will own absolutely nothing. You’re far better off to buy a system using traditional financing. Not only will you get all of the financial incentives mentioned above but you’ll also own a system with a 30 to 40 year life expectancy that will put cash into your pocket every month for another 20 to 30 years after you’ve paid the system off. And that’s even considering the replacement of the inverter after 12 to 15 years. Lease a solar system…..I don’t think so ! Buying one makes alot more sense. Why do you think the leasing companies BUY solar systems, take all of the financial incentives for themselves then turn around and lease systems to homeowners.

  4. New Green on November 9th, 2008 10:58 am

    Sunnyboy, you’re right about buying versus leasing when it comes to homeowners who have no plans to move, or expect to get a premium when they sell their solar-powered homes (though some buyers may balk at paying extra for a home with a solar system),

    But leasing makes sense for people who don’t want financing because of interest payments, or other reasons, or don’t plan to live in a dwelling long enough for the system to pay for itself. Leasing is just another option to get people to use solar who may not consider it otherwise.