SunRun and PV Solar report announces more families choose solar leasing over cash purchases

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SunRun, a home installation solar company, and PV Solar, an authority on California solar market data, announced that third-party-owned solar has eclipsed cash purchase as the preferred way to go solar in California. Also known as leasing or solar power service, third-party-owned solar represented approximately 59% of California's home solar market in Q3 2011 and 51% of the market year to date.

In January 2011, SunRun reported that the amount of red tape involved in solar installations was discouraging home owners from investing in solar power.

This summer, Aecom published a report detailing the amount of money a simplified permit system to install solar power would save local authorities and homeowners alike. Aecom’s model outlined that the state would gain US$211 million in additional revenues.

In its quest to make California greener, SunRun have demonstrated an alternative to directly purchasing solar panels.

“In 2007 we introduced a way for homeowners to put solar panels on their roofs without having to spend US$35,000 to buy and maintain the equipment,” said SunRun president and co-founder Lynn Jurich.  “Families love it because they can lock in low rates for clean energy and start saving money right away.  It's great to see it finally get to a point where more families know this service is available, and to see them choose it over other options.”

According to PV Solar Report, third-party-owned solar generated an additional US$157 million in growth for the state of California. The increase in cash purchases was only about 17%. As part of its analysis, PV Solar Report calculated* the following California cities as having the highest percentage of third-party-owned solar: San Jose; Bakersfield; Fresno; Simi Valley; Corona; Lancaster; San Diego; Clovis; San Francisco; and Visalia.

SunRun owns, installs, insures and maintains the solar panels on a homeowner's roof.  Families pay a low monthly rate for clean energy and fix their energy costs for 20 years. SunRun invented this model for residential solar in 2007 and grew at 200% last year.

“The message is clear that California homeowners are adopting third-party-owned systems because access to solar power is better than ownership of panels,” said Stephen Torres, founder and managing director of PV Solar Report.  “Business models like SunRun's are not only allowing families to switch to solar without the high upfront cost of a cash purchase, but also helping local economies increase revenue and create jobs.”

PV Solar's report Q3 Residential Sales and Install Report will be available at its website on Monday, October 24.

* The list is based on the California Solar Initiative (CSI) database of residential rebate reservations in Q3 2011, and the database includes data from the California utilities SDG&E, PG&E and SCE.

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