Monthly Archives: January 2014

Finance Programs Offered By Solar Companies Makes Solar Systems More Affordable For Americans

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shutterstock_126254933Solar City and Sungevity are providing financial programs for homeowners who want to enjoy the benefits of solar power but are unable to afford to pay for a solar electric system. Both companies have employed a prepaid system that allows homeowners to lease solar systems without having to pay enormous upfront costs.

The program is prepaid model that enables homeowners to pay a monthly rate only for the energy generation and consumption. The financing program has made it possible for more homeowners to afford a solar system. It has helped fuel the increase of solar photovoltaic installations across the country. Installations of solar systems have moved up from 5000 customers in 2003 to 83,000 in 2012.

This financing program is already popular in countries such as India, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania. In these countries, solar energy is the most affordable option for homeowners to power their homes. This is as a result of the high cost of kerosene for lighting. For example, villagers in Kenya spend approximately 80 times more per kilowatt hour for kerosene lighting than what a US resident pays per kilowatt hour for electricity.

Austin Church Lights A Beacon of Hope For Businesses Considering Solar Energy

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Church Goes SolarThe Saint David’s Episcopal Church in Austin is pioneering the way in urban solar power with a massive solar project. The church administrators are hoping to reduce its electricity costs that is fueled by a restaurant, coffee shop, bookstore, parking garage and preschool attached to the building.

The idea for the solar panel project came ten years ago but the low interest rates, government rebates caused members to grasp at the opportunity to go ahead with it. The initial project proposal consisted of 150 KW. However, it was rejected by Austin Energy as it was deemed to be too large.

The project was so huge, it would produce more energy than the church needed and posed a potential safety issues. The excess energy could result in equipment damage overtime as well as cutting off power from the building. As a result, the capacity of the proposal had to be reduced in order to gain approval.

If the solar system works for the church, it will be a beacon of hope for businesses and other interests that are considering solar energy.  Texas electricity rates have been so cheap the past several years that it has been difficult for solar energy projects to get funded in many cases.