Renewable energy providers today can deliver the economic and environmental benefits of clean solar energy without any of the associated capital expenditures or maintenance hassles.
Typically, the property owner provides the rooftop or other location on which to install the solar electric system; and the renewable energy provider develops, finances, owns and operates the system. The property owner buys the generated solar electricity at long-term, guaranteed rates – typically below those offered by the utility – for a contract term of 15-25 years. The property owner sees immediate energy savings while enjoying long-term energy security and a hedge against inflation.
The renewable energy provider will secure financing, acquire available incentives, pull the required permits, manage the system design and installation, and provide certification and grid interconnection services. Typically the renewable energy provider will also handle ongoing monitoring and maintenance.
|Capital Investment||Performance Risk||Maintain & Operate|
|PPA||The customer makes no capital investment. PPA payments are considered operating expenses for accounting purposes.||There is no performance risk; the customer pays only for electricity actually delivered by the system.||The customer incurs no operating or maintenance costs.|
|LEASE||The lessee pays a periodic (typically monthly) fixed fee. The lease may be considered balance sheet debt for accounting purposes.||The lessee may bear the risk that the system does not perform, and must make lease payments whether the system is working properly or not.||The lessee may be responsible for operating, insuring and maintaining the system.|
|PURCHASE||The system is a capital investment to the owner, and must be paid for in cash or through a loan.||The owner bears the risk that the system does not perform, and will not see a return on investment unless the system works properly.||The owner is responsible for operating, insuring and maintaining the system.|