Solar 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.