Google is now into Solar, looks like scam, what's your opinion?

UrbandialectUrbandialect Solar Expert Posts: 107 ✭✭✭✭
here's a link to the story:
http://www.ajc.com/business/google-to-finance-home-1189806.html#.ToIp5REvRpU.email

This is what it says if you don't want to go to the link
[sorry, need to edit down to avoid copyright issues. -Bill B.]

NEW YORK — Google wants to buy solar panels for your house

The search giant announced Tuesday that it will provide $75 million to build 3,000 residential solar electricity systems across the country. Google will own the panels, and get paid over time by customers who purchase the electricity the panels produce.

Google is creating a fund with a San Francisco company called Clean Power Finance that local solar installers will be able to tap so they can offer financing plans to prospective buyers. The plans allow homeowners to install a $30,000 solar electricity system on their house for little or no money up front. Instead, customers pay a monthly fee that is the same or less than what they would otherwise be paying their local utility for power.

Google will earn what it calls an attractive return on its investment in two ways. It gets the monthly fee from homeowners, and, as the owner of the systems, Google will get the benefit of federal and state renewable energy subsidies.
...

Solar power has gotten dramatically cheaper, but the up-front cost for a homeowner remains formidable. A typical home system costs $25,000 to $30,000. Federal and state governments offer subsidies to help defray the cost somewhat, but it is still far too much money for many homeowners to shell out.
...

Google has said it is disappointed that it can't buy renewable electricity for its power-hungry data centers so it is investing to help renewable power expand in scale.

One of Google's ten philosophical pillars is: "You can make money without doing evil," and reducing the environmental impact of its business has long been a focus of co-founder and CEO Larry Page. The company says that since 2007, it has completely offset its emissions of greenhouse gases by paying for projects that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Google is now into Solar, looks like scam, what's your opinion?

    File this under "advertising and promotion".

    Google Corp makes tons of money. They spend it on trendy "green" things like generous solar installs for homeowners. Instead of paying taxes on profit they write off the expense - and get lots of free publicity and good public image which brings them more money. And perhaps keeps the monopoly investigators at bay.

    It's a wonder Microsoft didn't think of it first. Or Facebook. They could bot use a little good PR these days.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Google is now into Solar, looks like scam, what's your opinion?

    i see one red flag without going very far into it. they say they will allow you to have a $30,000 solar setup, but if you do the math it works out to $25,000 per system.
  • UrbandialectUrbandialect Solar Expert Posts: 107 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Google is now into Solar, looks like scam, what's your opinion?

    My question is how long does the customer have to pay before the panels are theres? It looks like google never intends to let you own the panels they install on your house and you will pay them until you die. lol If some how you can pay them off and become sole owner of the panels then I don't see nothing wrong but to charge me each month forever seems like a rip off
  • meridiansolarmeridiansolar Solar Expert Posts: 34
    Re: Google is now into Solar, looks like scam, what's your opinion?

    Google would buy the sun if they could, maybe they need to talk to that lady in Spain who owns it.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Google is now into Solar, looks like scam, what's your opinion?
    Google would buy the sun if they could, maybe they need to talk to that lady in Spain who owns it.
    Funny story. The thing is, the driving force behind every "act of God" disaster except for maybe earthquakes and meteor strikes ultimately is energy from the sun. If you own something then you are liable for any damage that it causes, right? FEMA should be getting their funding from her. :-)
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: Google is now into Solar, looks like scam, what's your opinion?

    cable subscribers already pay forever for stupid stuff, even the black box required for pay-per-view. Seems they make enough money on PPV that the digital boxes themselves should not be extra, yet they charge every month, what, 5 or 10 dollars?
    My question is how long does the customer have to pay before the panels are theres? It looks like google never intends to let you own the panels they install on your house and you will pay them until you die. lol If some how you can pay them off and become sole owner of the panels then I don't see nothing wrong but to charge me each month forever seems like a rip off
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Google is now into Solar, looks like scam, what's your opinion?

    It's called "leasing".
    As a general rule it's not a good deal for the consumer. Typically, when you add the lease payments to the "buy out" at the end you find you're paying twice as much as what you're getting was worth in the first place, with no benefit of depreciation.
    Better you should take out a loan, although I'd bet most lending institutions would be more than hesitant about handing over money for solar installs because of the questionable improvement in property value. According to the estate agents here, solar on a grid house is more likely a liability because of all the people who are afraid of it. On the other hand solar on a remote cabin is expected these days.

    It's a strange world. :roll:
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Google is now into Solar, looks like scam, what's your opinion?

    Its kind of a win-win situation (of course Google is the real winner). The consumer gets reduced electric bills, in exchange for leasing panels installed on their own roof. Google gets residual checks more than quadrupaling their original investment. Woo-hoo capitalism. Check out my blog for great solar innovations: http://www.aboutsolarcells.com
  • TnAndyTnAndy Solar Expert Posts: 249 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Google is now into Solar, looks like scam, what's your opinion?

    Questions to ask:

    Is the lease transferable under ALL conditions if you sell your home ?

    What happens if you need a new roof ?

    WHY would you give up the tax credits ?

    WHY would you give up the infeed tariff, if applicable in your area ? ( We get 12 cents/kwhr OVER retail )

    I would think there are more pitfalls in solar leasing than car leasing, which I've always said made no sense unless you could deduct the lease from business income.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Google is now into Solar, looks like scam, what's your opinion?
    TnAndy wrote: »
    Questions to ask:

    What happens if you need a new roof ?
    One advantage of rooftop solar is that it protects the roof underneath it. PV should never be installed over roofing that is anywhere near its end of life, and when the rest of the roof needs replacing, the area under the PV may still be OK.

    The answers to all the rest of your questions is the same: initial cash outlay. Just like with car leasing, if you can afford to buy it outright, it's better financially than leasing.
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