American Solar Electric adds leasing program

American Solar Electric (ASE) has joined SolarCityin offering a leasing program for residential customers. The upfrontcost of going solar has been a major roadblock (sunblock?) forhouseholds wanting to install rooftop PV systems.

american solar logo American Solar Electric adds leasing program

The price of a typical residential array starts at around $20,000 andranges up to $50,000 depending on the amount of electricity produced.

Phoenix-based ASE works with SunRun,a solar leasing company in California started in 2007. In November2008, SunRun announced that US Bancorp had committed $105 million tothe company’s growth.

Fireitup will report on the details of the lease when wereceive a copy, but according to ASE and SunRun, the 18-year leasesinclude design, installation, monitoring, insurance and maintenance andrepair.

Of course, since you don’t own the system, all tax-credits andincentives (federal, state and utility) go to ASE/SunRun, not to you.On the other hand, companies couldn’t offer a leasing programs likethis without some way of recouping the initial, and expensive, start-upcosts..

Reaping the benefits of a rooftop solar power system for just $1,000down sounds like a great deal. And it may be — depending on thecircumstances of the individual homeowner.

But, as always, it’s important — make that imperative — to look at the fine print of this and any other agreement before signing.

In an upcoming installment, Fireitup will be taking a look at the details contained in different leasing and purchasing agreements.

For now: We’re just glad there’s another option for expanding renewable energy in the Valley.