Sungevity lease

raydiasraydias Solar Expert Posts: 68 ✭✭✭✭
I am sure you may have seen posts on the partnership between Sungevity and Lowe's and out of curiosity I asked for a quote. When i look at the bottom line and get past the marketing it doesn't look like a good deal. If i read it right I pay $5183 for a 1.75km system that I do not own to save $4096 in 10 years 10 years which still puts me in the hole -$1086 on a system i don't own. The buy option makes the deal at $8.10 per watt before tax credits and $5.67 after tax credits/rebates.

What are your thoughts?

Here is what i received:

System Size (STC-DC) 1.75 kW
System Size (CEC-AC) 1.49 kW
Number of Solar Panels 10
Solar Panel Type 175 Watt, BP Solar
Inverter Kaco 1502xi (240V)
Annual Production 2,443 kWh

Lease terms:
10 year with 5 year lease extension
$5183 down payment (with no monthly lease payment)
$4000 down payment with $14 per month lease payment and a foot note at the end of the quote (my favorite)
For the Sungevity Solar lease, $0 is due upon contract signing and no security deposit is required. Lease payments will be subject to an annual increase of 2.5% each year for 10 years, based on approved credit.


If i buy the system
All Inclusive Cost $14,658.00
Less State Rebate ($478)
Amount You Pay $14,180
Less Federal Tax Credit ($4,254)
True Solar Cost $9,926
Investment Return (IRR) 7.8%

From the FAQ:
1. WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH THE SUNGEVITY SOLAR LEASE–WHY ARE YOU OFFERING THIS PRODUCT?
Because we believe that the Sungevity Solar Lease can make home solar energy available to everyone. Purchasing a solar home system, out of pocket, simply isn't a reality for many homeowners who would like to reap the benefits of solar energy. We also know that going solar is good for the environment and for your bank account. It's a win-win for all.

2. WHAT KIND OF FINANCIAL PROFILE DO I NEED TO QUALIFY FOR A SUNGEVITY SOLAR LEASE?
All you need is a credit score of 700 or above. That's it! It's really easy to get started with your Sungevity Solar Lease (and start saving money) once you have this number.

3. DO I STILL GET REBATES AND TAX CREDITS FOR USING SOLAR ELECTRICITY IF I GO WITH THE SUNGEVITY SOLAR LEASE?
Yes, but indirectly. The rebates and tax credits associated with your system will be assigned to Sungevity. We incorporate these proceeds into your low lease payments.

4. WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF MY 10-YEAR SUNGEVITY SOLAR LEASE? WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
At the end of your Sungevity Solar Lease, you actually have a few options. You can choose to Extend your Sungevity Solar Lease for 5 years. Renew your lease and upgrade your Sungevity solar home system. Remove the Sungevity solar
system completely at no cost to you. Purchase system at fair market value

5. WHAT HAPPENS IF I WANT TO CANCEL MY SUNGEVITY SOLAR LEASE?
We'd miss you but you can cancel anytime after the sixth year. The cancellation fee is equal to the remaining lease payments, which are typically only about a third of the system value due to federal and state incentives that support solar power. Sungevity will remove the system free of charge.

6. WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVE TO MOVE, AFTER I'VE DECIDED TO LEASE MY SUNGEVITY SOLAR HOME SYSTEM?
Again, you have a few options. You can:
1. Assign the Sungevity Solar Lease the new homeowner, who is subject to the Sungevity Solar Lease credit requirements.
2. Prepay the remaining Sungevity Solar Lease payment and assign the non-financial covenants (i.e. roof access, etc) to the new owner.

7. WHAT HAPPENS TO MY ROOF AFTER THE SOLAR PANELS HAVE BEEN REMOVED?
We will remove all mounting hardware and return the area around every roof
penetration to the appearance of the surrounding roof surface. Best of all, your
roof warranty will not be affected by the installation or removal of the solar panels.

Comments

  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: Sungevity lease

    "We will remove all mounting hardware and return the area around every roof
    penetration to the appearance of the surrounding roof surface."

    Who knows if they will be around in 10 years? They can claim normal wear and tear "TO THE APPEARANCE OF THE SURROUNDING SURFACE". No claim to actually fix the damage.

    Run like a bunny!
  • raydiasraydias Solar Expert Posts: 68 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sungevity lease

    Yeah no kidding. I did this out of curiosity.

    Too bad that people will get hooked into this not knowing any better.
  • solarixsolarix Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
    Re: Sungevity lease

    I'm not saying it a good deal, but don't expect a very good $/w pricing on a less than 2kw system. See what they can do on a more average 5kW size.
  • JuramJuram Solar Expert Posts: 36
    Re: Sungevity lease
    raydias wrote: »
    I am sure you may have seen posts on the partnership between Sungevity and Lowe's and out of curiosity I asked for a quote. When i look at the bottom line and get past the marketing it doesn't look like a good deal. If i read it right I pay $5183 for a 1.75km system that I do not own to save $4096 in 10 years 10 years which still puts me in the hole -$1086 on a system i don't own. The buy option makes the deal at $8.10 per watt before tax credits and $5.67 after tax credits/rebates.

    What are your thoughts?

    Here is what i received:

    System Size (STC-DC) 1.75 kW
    System Size (CEC-AC) 1.49 kW
    Number of Solar Panels 10
    Solar Panel Type 175 Watt, BP Solar
    Inverter Kaco 1502xi (240V)
    Annual Production 2,443 kWh

    Lease terms:
    10 year with 5 year lease extension
    $5183 down payment (with no monthly lease payment)
    $4000 down payment with $14 per month lease payment and a foot note at the end of the quote (my favorite)
    For the Sungevity Solar lease, $0 is due upon contract signing and no security deposit is required. Lease payments will be subject to an annual increase of 2.5% each year for 10 years, based on approved credit.


    If i buy the system
    All Inclusive Cost $14,658.00
    Less State Rebate ($478)
    Amount You Pay $14,180
    Less Federal Tax Credit ($4,254)
    True Solar Cost $9,926
    Investment Return (IRR) 7.8%

    From the FAQ:
    1. WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH THE SUNGEVITY SOLAR LEASE–WHY ARE YOU OFFERING THIS PRODUCT?
    Because we believe that the Sungevity Solar Lease can make home solar energy available to everyone. Purchasing a solar home system, out of pocket, simply isn't a reality for many homeowners who would like to reap the benefits of solar energy. We also know that going solar is good for the environment and for your bank account. It's a win-win for all.

    2. WHAT KIND OF FINANCIAL PROFILE DO I NEED TO QUALIFY FOR A SUNGEVITY SOLAR LEASE?
    All you need is a credit score of 700 or above. That's it! It's really easy to get started with your Sungevity Solar Lease (and start saving money) once you have this number.

    3. DO I STILL GET REBATES AND TAX CREDITS FOR USING SOLAR ELECTRICITY IF I GO WITH THE SUNGEVITY SOLAR LEASE?
    Yes, but indirectly. The rebates and tax credits associated with your system will be assigned to Sungevity. We incorporate these proceeds into your low lease payments.

    4. WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF MY 10-YEAR SUNGEVITY SOLAR LEASE? WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
    At the end of your Sungevity Solar Lease, you actually have a few options. You can choose to Extend your Sungevity Solar Lease for 5 years. Renew your lease and upgrade your Sungevity solar home system. Remove the Sungevity solar
    system completely at no cost to you. Purchase system at fair market value

    5. WHAT HAPPENS IF I WANT TO CANCEL MY SUNGEVITY SOLAR LEASE?
    We'd miss you but you can cancel anytime after the sixth year. The cancellation fee is equal to the remaining lease payments, which are typically only about a third of the system value due to federal and state incentives that support solar power. Sungevity will remove the system free of charge.

    6. WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVE TO MOVE, AFTER I'VE DECIDED TO LEASE MY SUNGEVITY SOLAR HOME SYSTEM?
    Again, you have a few options. You can:
    1. Assign the Sungevity Solar Lease the new homeowner, who is subject to the Sungevity Solar Lease credit requirements.
    2. Prepay the remaining Sungevity Solar Lease payment and assign the non-financial covenants (i.e. roof access, etc) to the new owner.

    7. WHAT HAPPENS TO MY ROOF AFTER THE SOLAR PANELS HAVE BEEN REMOVED?
    We will remove all mounting hardware and return the area around every roof
    penetration to the appearance of the surrounding roof surface. Best of all, your
    roof warranty will not be affected by the installation or removal of the solar panels.




    Here's the deal, that system size is way too small. If you need less than 2KW system for a lease, then you should either purchase a system outright, or do other energy efficiency improvements around your home. Solar leasing really only makes financial sense for those paying $150 a month or more for their electricity and optimally, $200 a month or more. Sungevity is a very legit and credible company, but the bottom line is that with that small of a system, there's no way in heck that solar leasing will make sense to you.



    Someone paying $300-400 a month on their electric bill can save $40-60 a month on their total cost of electricity while someone paying $100 might save $8-12 a month in comparison.


    If you were to buy a system under 2KW from your average installer, you'd still be paying $7-8 a watt while a 5KW would probably run about $5-6 a watt.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Sungevity lease

    I just received a quote from Sungevity and Solar city, they both seem to be reputable companies, actually Sungevity was started by the old CFO of Solar City, according to Solar City.

    The quotes were pretty comparable, Solar City wants a 6.6kw system and Sungevity wants a 7.7 kw system.

    The Sungevity Lease is 10 years while Solar City is 20 years. I really dont know if i want a 20 year lease! Im 32 now and my GF is 33 and we just had our first kid so 20 years is a lifetime away. Im also asking quotes for outright ownership of the systems.

    Solar City $99 for 0 down with a 3.5% increase annually
    Solar city $117 for 500 down with 0 annual increase

    Sungevity $112 for 0 down with a 2.5% increase.

    I put the numbers up side by side and the 500 down option is the best by about 4-5k over 20 years. Though still the 20 year lease!

    I understand that you take risks when trusting someone with your home, but at the end of the lease they do have to fix the roof penetrations. I also read the contracts and the language in them is not really the language of rip off artists like some contracts you read. Sometimes you read "in The Companies opinion" or something like that which puts them in control, they use a lot of "reasonable" in the contract. Which for a contract is pretty 50/50.

    But I did want to ask if anyone on here has had Sungevity for a year and had a bill for a realistic comparison?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,190 admin
    Re: Sungevity lease

    3.5% annual increase for 20 years:
    • 1.035^20 years = 1.99x your lease payments at the end
    Inflation will probably eat up most of that over time... But it is not something I would want to sign up for either. But if it is only ~$14 per month or so--it is not like it will kill you either.

    I just don't trust the state or the utilities to offer net metering as you see today for the next 20 years. So many sections of the economy are just about bankrupt that these subsidies would be difficult to justify for decades in the future.

    On the other hand, many government programs have "grandfather clauses" that once you install your system--may let "you" keep the better rate plans and net billing where somebody 5 years from now cannot. (already has happened in California 5 years ago--One reason I got my system "back then" because I believed the new programs were not going to be as "cost effective" for the solar RE customer).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • minouminou Registered Users Posts: 1
    Re: Sungevity lease
    bmet wrote: »
    "We will remove all mounting hardware and return the area around every roof
    penetration to the appearance of the surrounding roof surface."

    Who knows if they will be around in 10 years? They can claim normal wear and tear "TO THE APPEARANCE OF THE SURROUNDING SURFACE". No claim to actually fix the damage.

    Run like a bunny!

    Any ideas re: heating my 1200 gal indoor lap pool? Got so expensive to heat it using propane ($1200 / yr) that we switched out the heater for an electric one...the light bill went through the roof, so I finally emptied it and there it sits, until I come up with cheaper power source. It's an Endless Pool (endlesspools.com) and my arthritis needs it, but my bank account sure doesn't. Any solar suggestions? Currently, our monthly bill is $130 ($85 of it "delivery fee" from National Greed) so looks like Sungevity would not be worth our while, based on what I'm reading in this forum. I live on the shores of Lake Ontario, almost in Canada.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,190 admin
    Re: Sungevity lease

    Welcome to the forum Minou,

    There are "options"... Heat pumps (basically a "reverse A/C") can heat about 2x more efficiently vs pure resistive heat (the colder the ambient air, the less efficient).

    Solar Hot water panels + pumps are pretty darn cheap vs almost anything else for "low temperature" heating like a pool (your pool needs to be able to hold heat in the "dark"--perhaps an issue with such a "small" pool--unless you have a separate insulated tank). Of course, you need a good/sunny location to install. Perhaps for your region, you would have a 9 month solar heated pool.

    Electrical usage--There are some pumps and other hardware (VFD--Variable Frequency Drive) that can reduce pumping costs.

    And then there is Grid Tied Solar power. As cheap as it has ever been--And tax credits are probably going away "soon". Again, works better for folks in sunny regions, so you may have issues with weather/latitude. And then there is the Utility itself--Many smaller utilities (and co-ops) do not support Net Metering on "good terms" for the customer (and some don't allow a connect at all).

    I agree that I prefer to own vs leasing--But the end pricing for leases is difficult to beat (leasing companies have pushed most of the other buy and install solar installers out of the "big box store" programs here).

    And, I don't look at solar as an "investment"... Past 7 years, who knows. And many home buyers are not sure they want to buy a home with solar power (probably adds very little to the price of a home).

    In the end, conservation and efficiency are your first goals. Getting a kill-a-watt type meter and/or whole home monitor type system allows you to figure out what is costing you the most money--and a pretty simple return on investment... I.e., if $10,000 in conservation saves you $1,000 per year (saving $83 per month)--Then you have about a 10 year return on your investment.

    And, conservation (insulation, new heat/cooling systems, lighting, boiler, etc.) tend to make the home more comfortable (fewer drafts, less noise from outside) and continue to "save you money" on power for years/decades to come (nothing more out of pocket).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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