What I Learned About SolarCity's Business Model by Becoming a Customer

My house is fully electric, heat, hot water, the works. My bill averages out to be $406 per month and spikes to $900 in January and February. Literally, I'm throwing money out the window and I'm not doing the environment any favors. Why would this matter to you? Because you might be in the same boat. 

So last Thursday, I invited a SolarCity  (NASDAQ: SCTY  )  Energy Consultant into my home. The technology is incredible and it was clear that SolarCity could help me. But what amazed me the most were the options. If you're not familiar with its Power Purchase Agreements, or PPA plans, stay tuned. I've got a lot to share.

Kilowhat? 
Once I showed the SolarCity rep my electric usage for the past 15 months, we were off and running. My consultant came prepared with her laptop and some cool software (licensed from Google) that showed a satellite image of my house. She then began virtually placing panels on the side of my roof that gets most of the sun. No ladders were required!

Source: An aerial view of my house from my SolarCity proposal. First image has the virtual panels placed on my roof, second image (with red shading) shows where the highest level of production would be.

With a click of a button, I knew the size of my proposed system was going to be 6.25 kW DC and it was going to produce 8,025 kilowatt hours, or kWh, annually. For those who aren't familiar with the lingo, kWh measures your energy consumption. SolarCity says, "One kilowatt hour is defined as the amount of energy consumed by a 1,000-watt appliance running continuously for one hour." Your kWh is important because it's how your electric company figures your bill.

When all was said and done, I had enough space on my roof to offset 31% of my electric bill. It will also reduce my carbon footprint by 247,214 pounds of CO2. Does that sound like a lot? Over a 20-year period that's equivalent to driving a car 265,511 miles, or the amount of carbon dioxide that can be absorbed by 134 trees, or 61,237 gallons of water used to produce the same amount of electricity.

PPAs for days 
The main reason SolarCity owns its market (its share is equal to its next 14 competitors combined)  is its various Power Purchase Agreement plans. I asked my consultant: Who came up with this great idea? She says it came from Elon Musk. I'm sure you've heard of him, he has some pretty cool ideas for batteries, electric cars, and space.

The first option was the "Pay as you go" plan. This plan is popular because it requires no money down and would reduce the price of my energy by about 41.5%. My new estimated average electric bill would be about $50 less per month and I would save nearly $24,000 over 20 years. Obviously, with no upfront costs, I would be cash flow positive from day one.

The second option was the "Pay only for what you produce" plan. This required a $3,125 investment, but cut the price of my energy by 51%. Over 20 years, I would have saved nearly $29,000 and I would have gotten my money back by the fourth year.

But in my opinion, the smartest way to go is the "Full pre-pay plan." In this scenario, you pay for the amount of power your system will produce up front. It would have cost me only $0.066 per kWh, compared to the $0.188 I currently pay my electric company. That's a savings of 66% and I would save about $125 per month. My initial investment of $10,000 would be recovered by year six, and over 20 years, I will have saved more than $36,000.

Source: SolarCity.com.

The benefits of PPAs 
So why wouldn't I want to buy my system outright? It's not a terrible idea -- after a $9,000 fed tax credit, I would only be on the hook for $15,000. But I won't break even until my ninth year and I'll only save $31,000 over the life of the system.

The reason it doesn't benefit me to own the panels is that I can't depreciate them, but if SolarCity retains ownership, it can. The company then passes on some of the savings to its customers. In this scenario everyone wins, the customer gets the benefit of low upfront costs and SolarCity gets 20 years of steady cash flows.

With PPA's like the "Full pre-pay plan," I think SolarCity has created a revolutionary method to get solar systems to its customers. In my opinion, this is the only way to sidestep sizable upfront costs, which have historically slowed solar adoption. Its competition has yet to catch on and market these types of hybrid payment plans, and in time, I think you'll see others trying to copy that model. But right now, SolarCity has a huge head start and is aggressively building its business. 

Foolish final words
SolarCity has a stated goal of 1 million customers, or a 70% compounded annual growth rate, by 2018. With the experience I had, I believe this to be a low hurdle to hop. The numbers could get silly if we start mapping out its growth rate over a 10-year period. 

The only problem SolarCity may end up having is if it tries to focus too much on profitability, gets away from fanatical customer service, and installs underperforming systems. But from what I've seen, that is highly unlikely. The Rive brothers and Elon Musk don't seem like the type of entrepreneurs to mess up a good thing. 

As you can see, I'm a big fan of SolarCity and it's an exciting time to be a customer. If you live in one of the 14 states it services, I would strongly recommend giving the company a try. It might just be the best business decision, you'll ever make.

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Read/Post Comments (35) | Recommend This Article (27)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2014, at 9:06 AM, greeneneerg wrote:

    Not sure about your math. You claim a $24,000. savings over 20 years when you save an average of $50./month on your electric bill but 20 * 12 * $50. = $12,000. Are you factoring in a rise in the cost of electric from the grid over 20 years or is this just a math error?

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2014, at 1:14 PM, Rayliu25 wrote:

    He is probably assuming that utilities prices increase at the rate that it has in the past, which seems reasonable.

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2014, at 1:22 PM, ronwiserinvestor wrote:

    Written like a well polished PPA solar salesman. Unfortunately, it appears that you failed to do much in the way of comparison shopping.

    The truth is that in the end, a PPA is far more expensive than an outright purchase. Here are the real numbers.

    Today, the same quality 6.25 kW grid tie solar system can easily be purchased for $1.55 per watt or $10,510 including sales tax. Add in $1.00 to a $1.30 per watt for installation engineering and permitting and your typical installed cost is only $18,635.

    Next subtract the 30% federal tax credit and you have $13,044. In addition, subtract any applicable cash rebate. For example, in LADWP territory this system would qualify for a cash rebate of about $5.500. The would bring down the cost of this purchased system to just $7,544.

    Since you neglected to mention the name of your utility company, I have no way of knowing how much of a cash rebate you forfeited to the PPA company by renting your system instead of owning it.

    Going back to my example. At a cost of only $7,544 for a 6.25 kW system, your system would easily pay itself off in about 4 years, possibly less depending on the probability of rate increases.

    And that's where the the difference between ownership and a PPA (rental) really shines in favor of owning. At year 4 or even less, your purchased system becomes an asset that can be resold any time you wish, allowing you to apply the proceeds of the sale to upgrade to the latest technology.

    With a pre-paid PPA or lease you own nothing the system still belongs to the leasing company. So you cannot sell it, and in order to make your payback pencil out, you are basically stuck with the same aging system for the 20 year term of the lease. There is no asset value in the system that you could use to upgrade the system.

    With this purchased system, at year 4 or less, 100% of every kilowatt hour that the system produces goes right into your pocket for the remaining 25 to 30 year life of the system, which will yield a far greater return on investment than any lease or PPA could ever possibly return.

    And since modern, low maintenance solar panels come standard with a 25 year warranty, there's little to worry about when it comes to repairs. Inverters come standard with 10 to 25 year warranties and typically constitute a relatively minor replacement expense when compared to the higher cost of a lease or PPA, should it fail out of warranty.

    And good luck selling your home with a pre-paid PPA system already mounted on your roof. What home buyer will want to purchase your home with your aging solar system on your roof when they can purchase the latest, state of the art system, while keeping the 30% federal tax credit any any applicable cash rebates for thousands less than the additional amount that you will need to ask for your home in order to make your PPA investment pencil out.

    The bottom line, is that a PPA, pre-paid or otherwise, typically yields a far poorer return on investment than a purchased system at today's historically low purchase pricing,

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2014, at 1:41 PM, Rayliu25 wrote:

    I've seen ronwiseinvestor write essays on how evil PPAs are in basically every solarcity article I read. He is clearly trying to promote his own company.

    If you want to argue against solarcity's business model, that's fine, but there must be rules against relentlessly spamming articles.

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2014, at 2:10 PM, ronwiserinvestor wrote:

    @Rayliu25 Do you see anywhere in my post where I mention my company ? I don't think so. All I present here is factual information that can be easily verified from multiple sources.

    The investment community should be allowed view all sides an argument for and against the business model that one is investing in. This is not the Soviet Union or North Korea where truths can frequently be easily be censored by the politically or economically connected.

    Fool.com provides for a fair and balanced means of posting opinions concerning stock market investments, and as such, should not give in to those who believe in the practice of censorship.

    Both side should always be allowed to present their arguments. It's what makes America great. You should go back to where you came from Mr. rayliu25 because censorship simply doesn't cut it in this country.

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2014, at 2:28 PM, Rayliu25 wrote:

    There's a difference between free speech and spamming to promote your own business(under the guise of free speech), and giving another side to the argument.

    Just because you happened to not mention your company name in this post doesn't mean that your intention isn't to promote your own company. It is clear through your past posts and similar usernames that this is your intention.

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2014, at 3:18 PM, ronwiserinvestor wrote:

    Wow, I'd like to learn the secret of promoting your own company without mentioning your company's name, That sounds like the ideal marketing technique!

    Go back and have another sip of your solar lease company kool-aid Mr. 25 and be sure to post some more of your comments. Keep it up and eventually you might even believe your own stock profit motivated propaganda.

    Whether I post my opinions here or post my opinions elsewhere, the expensive truth about solar leases and PPAs when compared to a purchase is penetrating the market and consumers are winning in record numbers.

    Don't believe it, well then go visit the various Yelp or other business rating websites and read the hundreds if not thousands of comments concerning leases and PPAs from the people who matter most, Consumers.

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2014, at 3:47 PM, Timbercreek345 wrote:

    To RonWise: After seeing again and again and again your old tiresome comments and posts in other venues, I would have to agree with RayLiu25 you definitely have an motivated agenda other than a casual sharing with other investors. Please give it a rest, it sounds like a bear attack when you trot out this same old, same old at every opportunity when SCTY is written about.

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2014, at 4:21 PM, Fenster0 wrote:

    IF a family has $20k in liquid assets & that family has a tax liability that can be offset by the Federal Credit, you are correct that purchasing solar can be a viable option. those are BIG "IF's" in today's America. What I equate your argument to equate is similar to it is more expensive to finance a car than to pay cash for it. This is not exactly a shock is it? So, under your rationale, there is no place for auto financing in America because it costs consumers more; at least that's my evaluation of your argument.

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2014, at 7:57 PM, amasten wrote:

    ronwiserinvestor:

    You are forgetting a lot of what SolarCity offers.

    $2,000,000 Home owners insurance for 20 years ($3,600) value. 20 year roof warranty. A FREE INVETER year 12 ($3,000) 24/7 monitoring of the system. 20 year warranty on the panels and system (not a manufacturs warranty). This customer who did the PPA got more ban for there buck than someone that buys one and pays cash.

    The best plan is actually the $0 down option. Take the $20,000 you are going to spend and invest that money. At 5% $20,000 will be worth close to $65,000 in 20 years and you probably saved $40,000 off your electric bill over that time.

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2014, at 8:36 PM, ronwiserinvestor wrote:

    @ Fenster0 Well, to avoid being accused of sounding like an ad for FHA and PACE financing. I left out another important point to my argument against solar leases and PPAs.

    Of course it is more expensive to finance an item than it is to pay cash. But there are many other, more cost effective $0 down financing options available today that don't involve leases and PPAs.

    For instance, FHA currently offers a $0 down solar loan with tax deductible interest and PACE $0 down solar financing programs with tax deductible interest are popping up all over the country. Solar leases and PPAs don't offer tax deductible interest.

    Then there's LightStream, non-collateralized solar financing that offers 4.99% interest. All of these programs can be offered by solar dealers that offer pricing that is much lower than the pricing that the solar lease and PPA companies offer.

    And if you don't have a tax liability, then create one by simply increasing your payroll allowances thus increasing your take home pay, allowing you to absorb the tax credit.

  • Report this Comment On April 18, 2014, at 9:16 PM, ronwiserinvestor wrote:

    Help, I'm being attacked by an army of solar lease salesmen. @amasten. Most homeowner insurance policies will not increase your insurance premium when adding solar and the few that do will typically increase your premium by no more than $40-60$ per year. I know because I've checked.

    And why on Earth would a solar leasing company warranty your roof ? That's a ridiculous claim. They might warranty the areas that were penetrated by the installation against leaks but that's about it. In 16 years of selling PV systems, none of our customers have ever complained of a leak.

    And our Hyper X systems includes a free 25 year inverter warranty upgrade and free online performance monitoring and shade mitigation at the module level.

    And if you want to talk about more bang for your buck, The solar modules that are included in our Hyper X PV systems outperform over 100 of SunPower's solar modules currently listed on the California Energy Commission's website with a better 93.44% PTC to STC ratio and a better temperature coefficient for better performance in hot/warm climates and cost as little less than 1/2 the cost of a $0 down solar lease. In other words our modules blow the performance of S.C.'s crystalline modules out of the water.

    And why on Earth would you need to take even a penny of your cash and spend it on your solar system. A much better option than any $0 down solar lease is a $0 down solar loan with tax deductible interest that lets you keep the 30% federal tax credit and any applicable cash rebate for a much better return on your investment and much higher performance from your system.

    So with our lower cost higher performance system, you'll be able to keep your $20,000 and invest that money. At 5% $20,000 will be worth close to $65,000 in 20 years and you probably saved far more than $40,000 off your electric bill over that time by purchasing your system instead of leasing.

    Spread your solar lease kool-aid around all you want, because today's consumers are a lot smarter. The low hanging fruit has already been picked.

    We use to have trouble competing against leases and PPAs a couple of years ago. Today it's easy to convert potential solar leasing customers into $0 down solar loans with much lower pricing and much higher performance equipment.

    The more the solar leasing companies advertise, the more deals we take away from them. Keep a close on that stock over the next few months and you'll see what I mean. $0 down solar loan are taking over the PV financing market.

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2014, at 6:33 AM, idontcare wrote:

    @ronwiserinvestor

    As a customer, would you be more comfortable knowing that if your system isn't producing the solar company is losing money or if the system isn't producing and you're still in debt regardless? A PPA is safer for the customer and creates a mutual interest in great production from the system. What better way can you ensure that in the off chance there was damage or malfunction your panels will be fixed quickly than if the solar company loses money every second they aren't functioning correctly? And when you're fully covered against any of that and get refunded in a prepay situation for underproduction...where is the risk?

    If you purchase a system from your company(which must be GREAT, judging by your "marketing" techniques fool.com and website - http://www.xtremesolar.com/financing.htm - what a beauty you must have spent a pretty penny on that geocities website)...where is it in your benefit to fix a solar system that is broken, immediately? You would call your 3rd party installer and hope they could make time for a customer they have no vested interest in satisfying.

    Lets not forget the pictures on your website. The computers look like they are from when you started selling solar 16 years ago. Get some flat screens.. The video of the bottled lighting really grabbed my attention though, I'm sure that video alone has brought you at least 10 of your 15,000 customers claimed by your magnificently artistic website. Who am I kidding.. With a website like that it's no wonder you and your Hyper X technology are sweeping the nation and other countries alike.

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2014, at 7:59 AM, clanza875 wrote:

    @ronwiserinvestor

    These guys are blinded by their own stock market interests. Keep up the good work!

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2014, at 1:36 PM, ronwiserinvestor wrote:

    @idontcare "or if the system isn't producing and you're still in debt regardless?" That's what the 25 year solar panel and inverter warranty is for.

    "What better way can you ensure that in the off chance there was damage or malfunction your panels will be fixed quickly than if the solar company loses money every second they aren't functioning correctly?" Wow, I wonder how much money you would lose "every second" when you're only paying 18 cents per kilowatt hour. That's nothing but a classic solar lease salesman scare tactic.

    xtremesolar.com is only one out of 800 active websites that we control, sure it's dated and I'm surprised that you even found it, it's core design is from a one of our original websites in 1997. The shear volume of keyword related domains that we control gets the message out that PPAs are a ripoff when compared to a purchase quite effectively.

    Try hyperxsolar .com or solarleasecalifornia .com or solarlease .com solarleasingcompanies .com or newjerseysolar .com or massachucettssolar .com or arizonasolar .com or utahsolar .com or nevadasolar .com and on and on.

    I like to call it the shotgun effect. We dominate the web in every key market that the leasing companies are trying to penetrate. It's a cheap and cost effective way to take market share away from the leasing companies.

    The leasing companies spend millions in marketing getting their sales reps into the customer's home.

    After their initial sales pitch visit, many customers tell the sales rep that they would like to do a little research before making a decision, The customer then turns to the Internet for information and finds one of our 800+ websites. The customer calls us and we explain how we can sell them a system for 1/3 the cost of a $0 down lease or PPA and explain all of the pitfalls of leasing. We quote the customer and take away the sale without ever leaving our office, It's simple.

    Besides, it's a simple matter to update the websites. We haven't felt the need to do that because they work so well as is.

    Oh and by the way, thanks for the plug!

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2014, at 2:16 PM, ronwiserinvestor wrote:

    Thank you clanza875.

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2014, at 6:25 PM, enhancedcortex wrote:

    @idontcare

    I thought ronwiserinvestor was full of it until you posted that link. I just got quoted on a ppa on Thursday and thanks to the link you posted there's no way I would sign now that I've compared the hyper solar prices to that ppa. The hyper solar prices will work out to be much lower in the end and neither the ppa salesman nor his written quote bothered to even mention what brand I was getting in the quote. All the quote said was that the solar cells would have black frames. Sign a ppa policy for 20 years and not even know what brand I'm getting. I don't think so.

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2014, at 7:09 PM, idontcare wrote:

    @enhancedcortex

    It's pretty blatant your work for the same company ronwiserinvestor does.

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2014, at 9:59 PM, enhancedcortex wrote:

    @idontcare Sorry, but I'm an R.N., have been and will be until I retire. I work in a chemical dependency unit detoxing alcoholics, heroin and hydrocodone (vicodin) addicted patients. Nice try but I seriously doubt that the company that ronwiserinvestor works for has Nurses on staff.

    I think clanza875 post is dead on. You're blinded by your own stock market interests or you're a solarcity employee.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2014, at 3:06 AM, birdieorbogey wrote:

    My biggest concern is why your house have so little space to only cover 31% of your electricity bill. Most people that I know that install solar on their roofs (assuming they buy the system) covers their entire bill. My personal one (not enough space) still covers about 70%.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2014, at 3:30 AM, FrankoJames wrote:

    The brilliant folks at Z look like they are getting ready for some kind of honey I blew up the world kind of moment, lol. Sorry, I remember the good old homestore.com days before the company nearly crashed to nothingness.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2014, at 9:06 PM, secularinvestor wrote:

    @ronwiseinvestor

    You seem proud that you control “800 active websites”

    Personally I would never do business with a company that trades through 800 "here today, gone tomorrow” websites.

    Buying a solar system is a major, long term investment. What are guarantees worth from what seem to be fly by night companies?

    The fact is that SolarCity is a well funded, reliable company offering a very attractive, worry free, zero cost and almost zero risk proposal to the customer.

    That is why SolarCity is gaining market share from all their competitors who are offering large up front costs and long term risks.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2014, at 4:12 AM, ronwiserinvestor wrote:

    @secularinvestor Check out the registration dates on most of those website domains and you'll find that they've beeb registered far longer than Solarcity has existed so, so much for your here today gone tomorrow theory. Our customer's feel secure in the face that they're not dealing with some solar lease newbie company.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2014, at 8:20 AM, secularinvestor wrote:

    @rontheinvestor.

    How many of these 800 website companies will be around in 10 years to honour their guarantees?

    SolarCity is rapidly growing its market share - already reaching over 30% - more than the next 14 companies combined.

    Most of your 800 companies will unfortunately go to the wall, leaving their customers with worthless guarantees.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2014, at 12:34 PM, enhancedcortex wrote:

    @secularinvestor,

    You can't possibly be that ignorant to believe that we control 800 separate companies?

    No, we are a single, well established company that has existed since 1997. That's 16 years, if you can't count. 10 years longer than SolarCity has existed.

    So there's is absolutely no reason to believe that we won't be around for another 16 years or even much longer.

    We are a pioneer in this industry Mr. secularinvestor. Your precious solar leasing companies are mere startups when compared to us. And we all know what happens to many startups. Especially when they're subjected to too many class action lawsuits and government investigations.

    You're obviously a foreigner. I make by assumption because of the way you spell the word "honour". So as a foreigner you obviously don't understand the meaning behind the term "America, the land of opportunity"

    For me, as an American,success in the solar industry means offering a higher quality, higher performance, American made product, at a much lower price than your competitors are offering a poorer performing foreign made product for. It means providing a better financing programs that offers working Americans tax deductible interest.

    It means allowing those same working American taxpayers the opportunity to keep the 30% federal tax credits and cash rebates that were meant for them in the first place instead of taking these financial incentives away like the leasing companies do.

    It means, working hard to stay in business so that you can support your customers as the years turn into decades.

    But you wouldn't understand any of this Mr. secularinvestor because you are not an American. The only thing you care about is that the American stock that you have invested in retains it's value, and you fear that my truthful comments might just interfere with your profit.

    Well too bad Mr. secular. This is America, Maybe where you come from, it is possible to silence the truth, but that won't happen here.

    Leases and PPAs are two of the most expensive ways to have solar on your roof when compared to an outright purchase or a purchase with a $0 down loan with tax deductible interest, and I will not stop spreading that message until the solar lease house of cards that you support has collapsed in on itself.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2014, at 3:39 PM, secularinvestor wrote:

    @enhancedcortex, AKA rontheinvestor

    Wow. One company operating behind 800 different website IDs.

    For most customers that stinks! Why does a respectable company have to hide behind multiple website IDs?

    You seem to also write under multiple IDs on this website.

    I replied to a comment by rontheinvestor and you got confused and replied to me under another of your IDs, namely @enhancedcortex....LOL

    Your company seems to specialise in smoke and mirrors and snake oil tactics of multiple IDs....LOL

    Definition of a Snake Oil Salesman:

    "A "snake oil salesman" is somebody that sells an item that claims to have some miraculous powers. This product is usually accompanied by a tremendous amount of hype. In an attempt to help push their products, the "snake oil salesman" will usually utilize planted accomplices who will claim that the product actually works."

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2014, at 4:49 PM, ronwiserinvestor wrote:

    You write like an ignorant child that doesn't know the diffence between a website and a company. What a fool.

    Your ripoff leasing companies will collapse by the end of the year from weight of all those lawsuits and we'll still be in business selling the highest quality products at the lowest.prices on the planet like we always have.

    Better pull your stinking Euros out of the market while you can before you lose what little money that you have.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2014, at 8:14 PM, Solarexpert wrote:

    Ron and Steve if you're out there. Please terminate your conversations with secularinvestor. It is obvious that this person is either a solar leasing company investor or he or she works for a solar leasing company.

    Our company's name is clearly posted everywhere on all of our websites. Our customers know exactly who they're contacting when they call us. That's what being in the PV business for 16 years will do for you.

    Remember, people like secularinvestor will say anything to further their interests. Your focus should be to simply tell the truth about leasing versus ownership and let the chips fall where they may. The truth will always prevail.

    The leasing companies would love to own the domains that we control. What solar lease company would not want to own solarlease.com or solarleasefinancing.com or what solar company offering any sort of financing that operates in New Jersey would not want to own newjerseysolar.com or arizonasolar.com or massachusettssolar.com and on and on.

    SolarCity themselves recognizes the importance of having a strong presence on the Internet. It is the reason why they purchased Paramount for over $120 million.

    Anyone in business today understands that a website address is no different than a physical address. And the more of either of these, the more consumers you will reach. While the leasing companies spend millions maintaining their physical locations and their web marketing, we spend merely thousands.

    It's one of the primary reasons why we are far more price competitive than the leasing companies. While they spend an average of of 48 cents per watt or $2,400 for an average sized 5 kW system per customer for acquisition costs, we spend pennies per customer.

    This allows us to offer high quality Japanese and U.S. made products for thousands less than they offer their products for.

    Remember, our message of lower pricing, better performance and better financing is already penetrating the market. We are already taking market share away from the leasing companies. Consumers today are a lot smarter about solar than they were just two years ago.

    Read the reviews on Yelp and other business rating sites concerning the lease and PPA companies and you'll find that they are growing in negativity. The word is spreading rapidly, By the end of the year Solar Home and the thousands of other dealers who shunned the solar lease and PPA financing model and chose instead to offer high quality products at lower prices with $0 down loans will win this battle. It's just a matter of time.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2014, at 9:02 PM, atrfl wrote:

    Two contradictory posts by enhancedcortex. So, are you an RN or are you with (or the same as) ronwiserinvestor?

    On April 19, 2014, at 9:59 PM, enhancedcortex wrote:

    @idontcare Sorry, but I'm an R.N., have been and will be until I retire. I work in a chemical dependency unit detoxing alcoholics, heroin and hydrocodone (vicodin) addicted patients. Nice try but I seriously doubt that the company that ronwiserinvestor works for has Nurses on staff.

    On April 21, 2014, at 12:34 PM, enhancedcortex wrote:

    @secularinvestor,

    You can't possibly be that ignorant to believe that we control 800 separate companies?

    No, we are a single, well established company that has existed since 1997. That's 16 years, if you can't count. 10 years longer than SolarCity has existed.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2014, at 9:35 PM, ronwiserinvestor wrote:

    I (ronwiserinvestor) work for Solar Home and enhancedcortex (Steve) is an R.N. that works part time for Solar Home. Steve was originally a customer.

    Who are you?

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2014, at 2:51 PM, enhancedcortex wrote:

    My apologies for for my misleading comment. Frankly I had enough of "idontcare's" and "secularinvestor's" false and demeaning comments concerning my employer. After reading their comments such as:

    "judging by your "marketing" techniques fool.com and website - http://www.xtremesolar.com/financing.htm - what a beauty you must have spent a pretty penny on that geocities website"

    And

    "Lets not forget the pictures on your website. The computers look like they are from when you started selling solar 16 years ago. Get some flat screens.. The video of the bottled lighting really grabbed my attention though, I'm sure that video alone has brought you at least 10 of your 15,000 customers claimed by your magnificently artistic website. Who am I kidding.. With a website like that it's no wonder you and your Hyper X technology are sweeping the nation and other countries alike."

    And

    "Personally I would never do business with a company that trades through 800 "here today, gone tomorrow” websites."

    I had had enough of their insults and felt the need to chime in. Solar Home is nothing like what "idontcare" and "secularinvestor" describes. We have a long, well respected history in the PV industry and his comments were purely abusive.

    Ron and I share the same PC. It was the first time that I had posted any comment and I simply neglected to inform Ron that I was posting.

    Following my last log in, I neglected to log out. Ron didn't notice that I was logged in until he read secularinvestor's post.

    Although I have examined many ppa quotes in the past, my misleading comment about specifically receiving a ppa quote on "Thursday" was solely of my own doing and completely goes against my company's ethical standards has has absolutely no reflection on company's integrity.

  • Report this Comment On April 23, 2014, at 3:31 PM, dave48 wrote:

    Folks,

    Let's stop the "ping-pong" commentaries and attacks. The home solar market is still a small percentage of electrical consumption and there is room for more than one method of delivery. Just like car ownership, some are better off leasing, some are better off purchasing, and some better on buses. Each has its place in the market and one may prevail. It depends on one's financial situation and how long they intend on residing in their home.

    Move on.....

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2014, at 2:56 PM, Rayliu25 wrote:

    What an utter fail by Ronwiserinvestor.

    A username enhancedcortex first says

    "I thought ronwiserinvestor was full of it until you posted that link. I just got quoted on a ppa on Thursday and thanks to the link you posted there's no way I would sign now that I've compared the hyper solar prices to that ppa."

    Pretending as if he is just your average joe invester reading through articles and suddenly realizes how great loans are.

    RONWISEINVESTOR FORGETS TO SIGN OUT of his fake screen name and posts his usual copy and paste about solar loans with enhancedcortex usernames.

    Then uses the excuse that they are using the same computer, but different people.

    THEN REALIZES IF THAT WERE THE CASE the sentence "I thought ronwiserinvestor was full of it until you posted that link." makes no sense.

    Makes another obviously fake screenname solarexpert and tries to shame other users with it.

    Now would anyone really want to do business with people that spam articles nonstop, make separate usernames claiming no relation to each other, and then lie about it?

    O yea, and Ronwiserinvester realizes he messed up at the end and write

    "Although I have examined many ppa quotes in the past, my misleading comment about specifically receiving a ppa quote on "Thursday" was solely of my own doing and completely goes against my company's ethical standards has has absolutely no reflection on company's integrity."

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2014, at 12:59 PM, ronwiserinvestor wrote:

    @Rayliu25 Don't refer to me you fool, I didn't post enhancedcortex's comments. Furthermore, enhancedcortex admitted to, apologized for and was reprimanded for his actions.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2014, at 1:54 PM, ronwiserinvestor wrote:

    @Rayliu25 Don't refer to me with you theories. I didn't post enhancedcortex's comments. Furthermore, enhancedcortex admitted to, apologized for and was reprimanded for his actions.

    Personally, considering all of the bullying, I don't think he should have been reprimanded. The next time your investments take a dump, consider it Karma rayliu25.

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