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U.S. Homeowners Can Now "Rent" Solar Panels and Save Money
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Residents of the United States will soon be able to install energy-efficient solar panels on their homes without paying significant upfront costs, according to the renewable energy development company Citizenre.

The Delaware-based business has launched a program that allows customers to “rent� the panels for specified periods of time, paying a per-kilowatt fee that takes the place of the local utility bill. The monthly rate is locked in when the 1, 5 or 25-year contract is signed, so as energy prices go up participants are likely to save money while significantly reducing their output of greenhouse gases.

The rental program, called REnU, is billed as a cost-effective response to the challenges many would-be solar users face when confronted with the high costs of solar system equipment, installation, and maintenance. The program’s only upfront charge is a security deposit of roughly US$500, which is paid back—with interest—at the end of the contract. The REnU website has a “solar savings calculator� that estimates the amount of money households will save by switching to solar power. Citizenre also eliminates other disincentives to solar power adoption by acquiring the necessary permits for the system itself and by monitoring a home’s electricity usage closely to make sure it is always equipped with the appropriate number of panels.

The solar panel rentals will be offered in all but the nine U.S. states that have not yet adopted “net metering� laws allowing renewable energy to flow into the national electricity grid. Under the REnU program, solar energy captured during the day is fed into the grid and pulled back out again for use at night. Although the systems won’t be ready to install until September, thousands of homeowners have already begun signing contracts.

Alana Herro writes for Eye on Earth (e²), a service of World Watch Magazine in partnership with the blue moon fund. e² provides a unique perspective on current events, newly released studies, and important global trends.

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Guys, please be sure to follow up on this in coming months. Would be great to hear more about the user experience with this product (i.e. is it for real? hidden gotchas?).

Posted by: Stephen A. Fuqua on 12 Jan 07

This looks like a really good idea. Being in the southwest I hope it works. Unfortunately while I was reading more about the site went down? I hope it is up soon and it works in the southwest.

Posted by: pam on 13 Jan 07

The Worldchanging effect? Naw, couldn't be. This place doesn't get like traffic does it?

Posted by: Chris on 13 Jan 07

This is a great idea but it needs to be marketed right. Solar hot water, for example, has been popular for a while in other countries, including my native Israel. "Installation of solar hot water heating has become the norm in countries such as Israel and Greece, where there is an abundance of solar radiation, and Japan and Austria where there is considerably less". - Wikipedia:Solar hot water.

There's still work to be done implementing simpler solar solutions in the developed world.

Posted by: Aviv on 14 Jan 07

TERRIBLE! This is a multi-marketing scheme. You guys better do your research at
I would love to be a fact-checker for you guys.
Did the guy who wrote this piece ever see their manufacturing plant?
The plant better be in China or a deal with SunTech or it makes Citizenre look more ridiculous.
Interview any of their investors?
Do some paper analysis on costs? (Using, say, SunTechs costs?)

Take a look at blogpost here:

Posted by: michael curylo on 15 Jan 07

I am an Ecopreneur and I myself am over joyed finding Citizenre. They have given a little guy like me the power to make a difference in pollution. This is no pyramid trip... we are merely making it so average folks like me can get solar on their homes and shield them from energy rate increases for up to 25-years. I just found this blog today and welcome any questions. We are doing it basically like cell-phones or satellite dishes... would you have a cell-phone if you had to pay $10K for it? I didn't have $35K for solar but am getting it from Citizenre. I would like to invite you to watch an 8-minute video. After watching please feel free to ask any questions. I will be honored to answer. To see the video go to this page and click on Ed Begley Jrs. picture and the video will appear. Thank you and please take a look. Thank You,


Posted by: Frank Knight on 16 Jan 07

@michael curylo: The plant will be constructed by September 2007. That's a well-known fact that the company isn't afraid to publish.

I was highly skeptical myself. They GIVE you solar panels to power your own house?? Well, yeah. Just like Verizon gives you a phone but charges for usage. Citizenre gives you solar panels and charges you for energy produced (at a rate equal or lower than the rate you'd HAVE TO PAY OTHERWISE to your electric company).

Just sayin'. Check it out if you're curious.

Posted by: MikeC on 18 Jan 07

This is the way to take ACTION now for clean, renewable energy. When I found this I knew it was a dream come true for everyone who wants to help SAVE THE PLANET, we are all tired of just talking and dreaming of having Solar Energy and now you can take ACTION! Plus it is free to sign up and reserve your system with no obligation, just go to

Posted by: Robin R on 19 Jan 07

I live in Colorado 9494 altitude, I love this opportunity to have soler panels. This will cut
down my electric bill.
I worked for years with Shirley MacLaine after
she wrote "Out On A Limb". As a Metaphysician,
I answered around 800 letters a day from around
the world.
We need to all work together to save our planet,
it's animals and plants for future generations.

Posted by: Belva Bloomer on 24 Jan 07



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