Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Making solar power more affordable for much larger segments of the US population, third-party-owned solar PV systems have been growing explosively in California. Solar PV systems installed and owned by third-party providers have increased well over 3,000% since they were introduced in 2007, according to a new Sunrun--Solar PV Report study. [...]

Clean Power

Clean Energy Stimulus? Third-Party-Owned Solar PV Has Added $1 Billion to California’s Economy

Making solar power more affordable for much larger segments of the US population, third-party-owned solar PV systems have been growing explosively in California. Solar PV systems installed and owned by third-party providers have increased well over 3,000% since they were introduced in 2007, according to a new Sunrun–Solar PV Report study. […]

In addition to clean, renewable, domestically produced energy, third-party-owned solar PV system installations have added more than $1 billion to California’s economy since being introduced in 2007. The number, released Aug. 23 by solar power service provider Sunrun and solar energy industry market data provider PV Solar Report, provides clear evidence of the beneficial impacts government support and private sector investment and innovation for solar energy is having in terms of stimulating the economy, creating jobs, and improving the environment.

Image Source: SolarCity

Sunrun and PV Solar’s report also demonstrates just how fast the residential solar leasing concept has caught on. The number of Californians who’ve chosen to install a solar PV system from a third-party-owned solar power provider as opposed to a cash purchase so far in 2012 is thirty times the total for 2007, a 3,332% increase, according to the report producers.

The $1 billion addition to California’s economy also demonstrates the powerful, local economic and social ripple effect that locally produced and consumed clean, renewable power can have. “The $1 billion infusion from this increase went directly to California local businesses and communities while helping homeowners of all income levels switch to solar,” they state in a press release.


Making Solar Power More Affordable

The $1 billion total itself was determined by adding the contract value for each third-party-owned solar PV installation in the state, Sunrun and PV Solar Report explained.

Third-party-owned solar, also known as solar power service, involves a solar PV systems provider, such as Sunrun, which arranges for the installation and maintenance of a home solar PV system while retaining ownership and insuring it. The home or property owner benefits from significantly lower upfront costs, at times with an initial payment of $0. The homeowner and solar power service provider then share the savings resulting from lower electricity bills, as well as state and federal incentive programs.

In addition, the solar power service concept also greatly simplifies the process of having a residential solar PV system installed. The solar power service provider not only arranges for qualified local solar PV systems installers to site, design, equip, and install the system; it also typically handles all the bureaucratic paperwork, which includes obtaining permits and qualifying for available federal and state tax and solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) and other incentives.

Solar leases, or third-party solar power service contracts, are credited with making solar PV affordable for a much wider range of Americans. “About 75 percent of Californians switching to solar now choose solar power service,” stated Sunrun president and co-founder Lynn Jurich. “Most of these families wouldn’t go solar if they didn’t have this option as a smart financial choice. We’ve eliminated the upfront cost and hassle.”

Demographically, according to the California Solar Initiative (CSI), the fastest-growing segment of the California population installing residential solar PV systems has been the 50k-75k household income range, Sunrun points out. “The number of projects in middle-income markets (i.e. areas with median incomes between $50,000 and $100,000) has increased 445 percent since 2007.”

“Because third-party-owned solar companies like Sunrun lower the barrier to entry, more people can access solar,” commented PV Solar Report founder and managing director Stephen Torres. “That’s more Americans who save money on their electric bills while helping create local jobs, and more money flowing to state and local economies.”

An executive brief of Sunrun-PV Solar Report’s study is available for free via the PV Solarbuzz website.


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports




Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Clean Power

It seems that the California Public Utilities Commission wants to tax homeowners for making use of the sun’s existence. I wrote about this last month,...

Clean Power

California’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) is proposing not only cutting the state’s rooftop solar energy incentive after several years of success (and debate), but...

Clean Power

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has just proposed significant changes to rooftop solar policies in California that are likely to stifle rooftop solar...

Clean Power

New Research Finds Referrals Are Pivotal to Solar Adoption in Underserved California Communities, Opening the Door to Equity in the Energy Transition

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.