The solar leases are financed by NRG SunLease, a product of NRG Energy, which is a Fortune 500 company.
“As one of the region’s oldest and best established solar companies, it makes sense for us to offer a lease product. Our mission is to get as much solar on rooftops as possible. A lease will help accomplish that, by making solar energy available to people who are unable or unwilling to purchase a system,” Durrenberger said.
As with purchasing a solar electric system, the lease provides cost savings and environmental benefits. Solar panels generate clean, renewable energy with no emissions. Lease customers pay a monthly fee to the lease company and a lowered monthly amount to the electric company. Together, these two payments equal less than the customer’s electric bill prior to installing solar.
New England Clean Energy customers can opt for a monthly payment to NRG SunLease with no money down, or they can make a down-payment of up to $5,000, which reduces the monthly payment.
The 20-year lease comes with turnkey service, including design, installation, insurance, warranties, a power-production guarantee, maintenance and monitoring. The monitoring system allows homeowner to view energy produced and used, and environmental savings. To be eligible for the lease, customers must have Internet access and email, pass a credit check, and be connected to the local electric company’s grid. When the lease is up, customers can renew the lease, purchase the solar system, or have the system removed.
New England Clean Energy installs solar electric systems on roofs and as ground mounts, using equipment from a variety of manufacturers.
Leases differ from purchasing solar systems in several ways. Customers who purchase systems own them outright and receive the associated state rebate and state and federal tax credits. With the lease, NRG SunLease owns the system and receives the incentives. Under the NRG SunLease, Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC), which can generate several thousand dollars per year in income, can be owned by either the homeowner or NRG SunLease.
New England Clean Energy (formerly New England Breeze Solar) designs, engineers and installs solar electric and solar hot water systems, as well as solar attic fans and solar parking lot lighting systems, for homes and businesses. The company, based in Hudson, Mass., has installed more than 180 solar systems throughout Central Massachusetts since being founded in 2006. For more information, visit http://www.NewEnglandCleanEnergy.com or call 978-56-SOLAR.