Third party-owned solar in California generated US$938 million in 2012, according to PV Solar Report, a research company specialising in solar market data, and residential solar firm Sunrun.
The companies claim that this record figure for 2012 — which went directly into local businesses and communities — means that Californian third party-owned solar generated approximately the same amount in 12 months as in the previous five years in total. It also represents 74% of the state’s residential solar market.
“Nearly 75% of homeowners who went solar in 2012 chose third-party-owned, compared to 56% in 2011,” said Stephen Torres, Founder and Managing Director of PV Solar Report.
“We are seeing the most growth in low and median-income zip codes as companies like Sunrun continue to remove the barriers to access.”
Under the terms of third-party-owned solar, residential PV systems are provided by companies such as Sunrun which own, maintain and insure the system on a homeowner’s roof. It enables homeowners to switch to solar without the high upfront cost and avoiding the responsibilities of ownership.
“Solar service is bringing solar to more American families not only because it eliminates the upfront cost, but also because it removes the hassles of ownership,” said Sunrun co-CEO Lynn Jurich. “Homeowners feel the impact of a tight economy and are looking for ways to own less in order to save more money. Our business model meets those needs, plus it helps the planet.”
According to PV Solar Report and Sunrun, California’s top solar city in 2012 based on PV system contracts sold was San Diego, followed by San Jose, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Fresno, San Francisco, Corona, Murrieta, Clovis and Temecula.