You hear car commercials all the time talk about leasing with “zero money” down. Well, now, that kind of offer is fueling another market: solar panels. Denver High School teacher Matt Klassen has wanted to “go solar” for a long time. And this was his way in. He's paying about 30 bucks a month. That’ll rise gradually over the 20 year lease, with the total cost right around $10,000.
Matt Klassen: Our bottom line was, “What’s the minimum we can pay to get the system up?" And as long as that amount is less than we would pay for the same amount of energy from Xcel, we would go in that direction.
Klassen says his first energy bill with the panels came the other day. And he was impressed by the savings. He says, lease payment included, he saved 90 dollars over the previous month. Leasing is now the way most people get solar on their rooftops these days. Two thirds of new residential customers in Colorado lease instead of buy. Easan Drury is an energy analyst at NREL, the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden.
Easen Drury: People who are leasing systems are generally younger and less affluent than the customers who purchase their own systems.
There are some things to consider before leasing. And for that, Ryan Warner reached Dexter Gauntlett. He’s an analyst for Pike research, an alternative energy firm in Boulder.
[Photo: Bryan Cashion]