More and more smaller companies are beginning to surface in the residential solar power game in California and along the west coast . In the past, the biggest obstacle that companies of this sort faced was fiscal plausibility. Many of these (often times) start-up companies could not find an economically feasible way to charge for parts and installation for the average residential customer and do so competitively within the market place of large scale solar operations. Thanks to generous government subsidies and the ingenuity of a few, select, up-and-coming companies, this is beginning to change. Along with fiscal restraints, the other apparent stumbling block on the road to residential solar usage was the average consumer’s reluctance to engage in what many perceive to be a hassle. People are generally hesistant to sacrifice comfort and normalcy to jump through hoops when they don’t have to. Significant steps have been taking to simplify the process on the consumer’s end.
One step some of the companies have taken to simplify the process is the use of monthly leases. The absence of long term contract provides their clients with flexibility they find comforting. Secondly, the customers sign the rights to claim subsidies over to the solar installer which allows these companies to recoup much of their overhead investment – a crucial piece in the viability of these smaller companies. Third, they hook the solar panels up to the regular electric grid in order to avoid disturbances in service should the panels fail to produce adequate levels of electricity throughout the day. And most importantly they guarantee that the panels they install will produce a set amount of power, thus making the decision that much easier for prospective clients.
Going forward, the question remains, how will these smaller operations compete with large scale solar installation fields and other forms of alternative electrical output once the government subsidies expire? The answer to that question remains to be seen, but the foundation has certainly been set for the expansion of residential solar power usage on a per home basis.