When it comes to spreading green energy, innovation in how we pay for it can be as important as innovation in how we produce it. And on Wednesday, SolarCity did a bit to tackle the first half of that equation.
The company — the largest residential solar service provider in the country — will start offering homeowners a form of financing for their solar system called MyPower, which functions as a kind of hybrid between a lease and a power purchase agreement (PPA).
Under a lease, the solar system is installed on the customer’s home, but is still owned by a third party. The customer then pays for the loan in regular installments while also paying for the electricity, and ownership of the system shifts to them once it’s paid off. The selling point is that because the third party has a guaranteed income stream over time, the rates for the electricity can be set ahead of time, and set very low. So the combined cost of the loan repayments and the electricity can actually be lower than the standard utility bills of just relying on the grid.