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Google Wants To Help You Buy Solar Panels For Your House. Seriously.

If you to want to install solar panels on your roof but haven’t yet because it’s too expensive, Google really wants to help.
The search giant, valued at $370 billion, is once again boosting its investment in SolarCity’s residential solar power model by $300 million.
Combined with a new financing structure from SolarCity, the companies say this will result in a new fund worth $750 million to help install distributed rooftop solar on homes across the country.
That’s the largest investment in such a fund ever, according to SolarCity. It means “roughly 25,000″ new solar households and about 500 megawatts of new capacity.
The first step is you need to own a home. Then you work with SolarCity to design a customized system for your particular roof. They look at past electric bills and the rate charged by the utility, and guarantee a lower rate that locks in a lower monthly payment. For instance, if your normal monthly bill is $200, it could drop to $60 after the installation, plus $100 in the monthly solar rental, yielding a new average monthly bill of $160. Google’s initial investment pays for the system outright through a lease or power purchase agreement. You do not have to pay for the design or placement of the panels SolarCity installs and then maintains throughout the life of the lease.
Once installed, the panels generate renewable, clean electricity, feeding the grid mostly during times of the day where demand is high. The homeowner pays the lower monthly electricity rate, not worrying about rising utility bills or extra carbon pollution. Google and SolarCity pay to maintain the panels because they own them. Both companies pocket the income brought by sale of the power to the utility through net metering, as well as federal and state renewable energy tax benefits. At the end of the lease or rental term (usually 20 years), much like an automobile, you have the option to buy the system back, set it up as a loan, or let SolarCity take it back, no charge.

By Ryan Koronowski in ClimateProgress(February 26, 2015)


To continue reading: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/02/26/3627172/google-solarcity-big-solar-fund/