02007-06-24 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

The Citizenrē Corporation
A different model for using solar energy. Sounds intriguing.


  1. Will

    I asked my dad about this (he appraises and values utilities, power plants, telecommunications etc.) and he had this to say:

    “Sound’s good but there may be some issues that are not addressed on their website. They mentioned homeowner’s insurance to cover damages to the solar panels – but provide very little in the way of who’s responsible for damages caused by acts of God – like hurricanes or a tree limb falling and damaging the panels. I’m not sure homeowner’s insurance will cover acts of God on something you do not own but only rent (check with USAA). Another issue concerns the utility’s terms and conditions for integrating the system with their metering panel – called advanced or net metering. Who pays the cost for this? You need to check with Progress Energy to see if they have a tariff with terms and conditions that provides for net metering. All in all, it sounds like a pretty good deal — assuming you’re willing to risk $500. I don’t see any downside on the economics for you because it’s more likely than not utility rates will continue to increase in the future. This assumes of course that the utility rate structures do not change in the future in such a way that the economics of the investment would change. There are several other questions I would want to ask – like what happens if the company goes belly up. And, who’s supplying all of the up-front capital for the manufacture of the solar panels, company start-up costs etc. Also, if you enter into only a 5-year contract, and decide to renew at the end of 5 years, do they readjust your rental rate at that time? Bottom line is they have to be making money somehow and I would want to know exactly how they’re doing it. If the average solar panel costs $40,000, the annual payment on that at 3% interest (the lowest rate I can imagine) is about $2,300. Let’s say you use an average of 2,000 kWh per month – assuming the solar panel supplies half of your needs, at 10 cents per kWh you would pay them about $100 per month (10 cents x 1000 kWh) or $1,200 per year. $1,200 is a lot less than $2,300 – so somehow they have to be covering the shortage – who’s going to do that?

    Before you invest your $500, I would search other ways to make your home more efficient – for example, new insulation, caluking around windows and doors, etc. Progress Energy will provide you a free home survey. Also, based on my experience, the per-capita penetration rate for this type of technology is likely very low – so the ultimate impact on the environment will likely be very minuscule. I would do it with the idea that you’re willing to risk $500 on something that makes you feel good about doing your part to help mother earth. However, I would advise against entering into a long-term (25-year) contract.

    That’s my two cents worth. By this time, you’re probably sorry you asked.”

  2. Gudrun

    Photovoltaikmoduls are normality in my hometown – even a solar parking meter.
    And they work!!


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