Re: residential leasing
Here is a thread discussing SunRun's solar leasing program and a few of us read the contract that was posted last year.
SunRun had the customer paying, roughly, for the system output at a few cents discount wrt to utility power whether or not they used the power...
It appeared, for example, if you kids moved out of the house in year 10--you would still be responsible to pay for 100% of the power generated (there is actually a range of power estimated/generated) through the end of the contract on year 18.
The other thing I have seen is that there is an inflation adder to the kWH pricing in some contracts. The SunRun was 2.9% (we think)--But interestingly, the last 14 years for my utility in Northern California was around 2.4% increase in average rates for all customers--and my actual power costs went down in that time frame instead of up (California, historically, has kept prices down for small users of power (<300 kWH per month)--the poor?--and increases were jammed on the larger users (>1,000 kWH per month)...
That is now changing because business and others are leaving the state because of the extremely high power costs for those that use a lot of power... And they are raising the lower tier rates at a higher rate...
Anyway, you are betting on your 20 year energy usage (and if you sell the house--are the new people going to want to take that bet?) and what happens with rates.
And, if you pay to your leasing company for your power--your local government may be able to add utility taxes and fees to your bill (possibly even proper taxes--varies greatly by state/locality)--which you will be responsible for.
The SunRun contract looked pretty fair and reasonable (to non-lawyers and even to the poster's lawyer). You just need to see if the terms and conditions are ones that you will want to sign up for or not. The leasing companies appear to be getting their monies from tax credits, rebates, and probably green tag--as well--I am sure--from investment and depreciation credits which are not typically available to a home owner. And the SunRun company was responsible for system maintenance, repairs, and parts.
However, the customer was responsible for shading on property (trees, additions, etc.). And if, for example, you took a 3 month period to rebuild/remodel your home, with SunRun the customer would still have to pay for the "lost power" that would have been generated (as well as still buying power from the utility).
One thing I will caution you about adding solar PV system to your home... I would not count on it adding any value to your home... Perhaps you might be able to justify $0.30 on the dollar in the sales price to a potential buyer--but many folks are afraid of solar PV and it may actually decrease the value of your home (unless you remove it).
If the affect on your home's price is important--check with a local real-estate agent to get better guidance.
20x BP 4175B panels (replacement) + Xantrex GT 3.3 inverter for 3kW Grid Tied system + Honda eu2000i Inverter/Generator for emergency backup.