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Rocky Mountain Chapter

Solar lease─affordable answer for your energy needs

Solar Roof Dreamstime Stock

If adding solar panels to your home sounds like a great idea─but maybe a little too expensive─there’s good news. With little or no upfront costs, you can lease a solar system through a program launched recently between Sierra Club and Sungevity, a solar home specialist.

It’s an easy three-step process to get a solar lease working for you:

1.    To get a free solar home estimate that shows how you can reduce your electricity bill by going solar now, go to Sierra Club’s Solar Homes Website.
2.    Sungevity then designs and a local installer will install a PV system customized for your home.
3.    Sungevity leases the panels to you for a low monthly rate and you will have a much reduced electrical utility bill. Combined they will be less than your previous electric bill.

While some people will see savings in the very first bill, eventually everyone will save thousands of dollars as the panels are guaranteed for 25 years.

If your home is suitable for solar panel installation and you go solar through this program, you will get a $750 cash gift card from Sungevity. A huge bonus is that, with your participation, Sierra Club’s Rocky Mountain Chapter gets a matching $750 to use for our many environmental programs.

Another big plus is that Sungevity contracts with local solar installers to provide jobs within Colorado.

Sungevity’s service area covers the majority of our population centers including the greater Denver area and the Fort Collins area. While not every area in Colorado is currently included in the program, Sungevity plans to add more service areas in the future. Here is a map that shows the current coverage area in the state.

Many questions, here are answers

You may have many questions about the lease program. Below is an extensive list of questions and answers provided by Sungevity that will help you make a decision. You can find additional frequently asked questions and answers on the Sungevity Website.

Why a Solar Lease?

Because we believe that the Sungevity Solar Lease can bring the power of the sun to everyone. Purchasing a solar home system, out of pocket, simply isn’t a reality for many homeowners who want the benefits of solar energy.

The offer seems too good to be true. What's the catch?

No catch, but we can give you an explanation of how we can offer this great deal:

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvest Act (a.k.a. the Stimulus Package) the government extended its tax credit on renewable energy systems.  When you lease a system, about 1/3 of the cost is covered by Uncle Sam, with state governments kicking in another 10-30%. So, we get paid by the incentives in addition to your lease payments, you get low cost energy, and the world gets a cleaner future. Everyone wins - no catches.

How long is the Sungevity Solar Lease commitment and what happens at the end of the lease?

The Sungevity Solar Lease is a 20 year commitment to solar-powered living and financial savings. After 20 years, you can choose to renew for additional 5-year periods (up to 25 years), upgrade to the latest technology with a new lease, purchase the panels at a fair market value or have us remove the system from your roof at no cost to you.

What happens if I need to move before my Sungevity Solar Lease term is over?

Your options include:
●    Assigning the Sungevity Solar Lease to the new homeowner (subject to credit check).
●    Prepaying the remaining lease payments and assigning the benefits and non-financial obligations (e.g., roof access) to the new owner.
●    Purchasing the Sungevity solar home system at fair market value. *
●    Terminating the lease and asking us to remove the system. *
* Subject to renewable energy incentive holding periods and recapture payments.

Can I prepay my lease?

For most homeowners, the $0 down lease will be the best option because they can go solar with no out-of-pocket expense. For homeowners with money to put towards solar, or someone considering purchasing a system, the fully prepaid lease can help increase savings while at the same time enable the homeowner to get a complete home solar system as well as complimentary monitoring, maintenance, repairs, and insurance.

Why do you need to know my energy consumption over each of the last 12 months?

Utilities typically don’t charge the same price for every unit of energy they sell.  In some places, utilities charge more for energy consumed at certain times of day or in certain months of the year.  In other places, utilities gives customers a certain allocation of cheap energy, and once you’ve surpassed that allocation, you must pay higher rates for your remaining energy.

Our goal is to give you access to the best savings possible. That means knowing how much expensive energy you have and how much cheap energy. Once we know that, we can design the system that maximizes your savings.

What if I want to put a down payment toward the system?

The Sungevity Solar Lease allows you to go solar with no down payment. We’re committed to being flexible to accommodate your personal financial situation, however, so if you have some money in the bank and are looking for a good investment, you can certainly put that into a down payment. Speak to your Sungevity Solar Sales Consultant about your down payment options.

Is sales tax included in the lease payments you've quoted me?

Yes, we are committed to being as fair and transparent as possible, so we show you the “all-in” cost of going solar, including taxes, in your iQuote payments. If you’re curious what tax rate we assumed for your particular location, ask your Solar Consultant!

What are the estimated savings by going with a Sungevity Solar Lease?

Savings will vary depending on how much energy you use, where you live and your utility company. A typical customer will save about 15% on electricity in their first year, and the savings will increase every year as grid electricity rates rise. Your iQuote will tell you what savings you can expect based on your historic energy usage and custom-designed home solar system.

What are the benefits of a Sungevity Solar Lease?

You can go solar with no down payment and you’ll save money from Day 1. With the Sungevity Solar Lease, the reduction in your monthly energy bill will usually be greater than your Solar Lease payment and on top of the financial benefits, we guarantee the performance of the system, provide proactive monitoring and maintenance, and insure your system against accidental damage.

Do you install on modular (prefab) homes?

At this point we are not able to install solar on modular homes.

What happens if my system underperforms?

Sungevity guarantees your system’s output in writing. The Sungevity Lease program includes FREE monitoring and maintenance. If your system underperforms, Sungevity will pay you the difference and come out and fix your system at no cost. The surplus production is yours for FREE.

What kind of savings should I expect?

Savings will vary depending on how much energy you use. This is influenced by roof potential, where you live and your electric utility provider. A typical homeowner will save about 15% net with the $0 down lease in their first year, and savings will increase every year as grid energy rates rise. Our proprietary Sungvevity iQuote will detail the savings you can expect.

What credit score do I need to qualify?

A FICO credit score of 700 is required.

Why should I go solar today? Why not wait until prices drop?

Sungevity will lower your energy costs from day 1, so every year you wait is another year of lost savings. State and federal rebates are on the decline, so even as the technology gets cheaper, the net price will remain relatively flat.

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Rocky Mountain Chapter, 1536 Wynkoop Street, 4th Floor, Denver CO 80202, 303-861-8819