Citizenrē REnU Home Solar System

nevea2beFebruary 19, 2007

Has anyone used or heard of CitizenrÄ REnU? It seems you can sign a 1,5 or 25 year contract for using their solar system and all you pay for is the so called "rental fee", which equals to the rate you pay now for each KwH and are locked into that same rate for the full length of the contract. They seem to handle everything else and you get the piece of mind knowing that you are saving pollution from going into the air.

I guess they will match the best rate you can get from an electric company and that is your rate for the next 25 years no matter what. Like here in Massachusetts National Grid is at 11.6 and Dominion is 10.6 so I guess if you are a Dominion customer that you can be paying 10.6 a KwH for the next 25 years. Which seems like a good deal that only cost's you a $500 deposit and no need to pay for all that equipment ever. If you choose to get out the contract it seems to only cost you the amount of your deposit.

Anybody have any thoughts on this?

Here is a link that might be useful: Citizenrē REnU

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RCMJr

.

I'm a big fan of finding new ways to do things . . . this one has me puzzled though. I perused the site a bit, and I'm not sure who / what is "behind" this thing. It sounds a little too good to be true . . .

You pay a security deposit, then your local going rate for the amount of juice it produces every month => albeit locked at that rate for length of contract. If you do a 1 year contract how can it possibly be worth the installation / setup to just tear it out again ?

PV panels are roughly $4 / watt now . . . you'll need them; some kind of mount, an inverter, some wiring done and an interface / permission of local utility. The installation of all this stuff and then wiring it up is not cheap / easy / fast; nor is the equipment itself cheap. I put in a 2.8 kW system 2 years ago; it ran ~ $ 30k . . got some incentives from the state and fed; but still a very sizeable investment.

With the REnU setup; who pays for all the equipment and installation ? . . that's thousands and thousands of dollars that they're gonna install and let you use for however long for a $500 deposit ?

I think the basic concept of getting this stuff more available to the general public is great . . in many ways for all of us. This REnU thing however; doesn't seem right . . . it sounds too good to be true . . . I'd make DAMN sure I knew quite a bit more about it before I got involved. I'd love to know if you find / hear anything more about it . . .

Not trying to be a wet rag on it; but it doesn't seem to add up in my mind . . there's something more to it . . . than I've managed to see . . . .

Bob

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 7:12PM
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nevea2be

Thanks for the links. It sure does sound like a lot of hot air, which is too bad because if they were really setup and ready to run then it just might have a shot of getting of the ground. Hopefully this wont put to much of a black eye on the solar market.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 4:31PM
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remodeler_matt

I have worked with a similar company offering such services to commercial and industrial customers, except they offer comprehensive solutions, including conservation and efficiency measures as well as alternative energy supply. They'll also work with the utility to get the most favorable rate, such as shifting energy use to night hours when possible and getting a reduced rate. Most of the work done is usually on the efficiency end, though they also generally install roof-top PV panels where feasible.

The customer pays the same amount per month that they averaged over the last few years for a predetermined period, generally 5-20 years depending upon the expense involved. The company is doing very well, with no unhappy customers.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 4:00PM
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jakethewonderdog

This has been discussed on this board before. Do a search.

My own take on this is that it is bogus. Their business model doesn't work. It is predicated on them building a plant to manufacture panels and inverters at a cost that isn't likely to ever happen.

The down side of this that it locks up potential customers that would otherwise buy a PV system. It also gives people a completely unrealistic idea of what a system should cost.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 9:48PM
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nwroselady

I ran into one of their reps a couple of weeks ago and got all excited but refused to sign up on the spot, citing the need to do some research. When I got home and googled the company, and then other web sites, I found out that they STILL don't have the investors they need to fund the building of a factory to manufacture the solar panels, nor have they even located a site for the factory. This puts their installation back to 2009 at the earliest. Of course, you're not out anything, because they don't ask you for the deposit until they're actually ready to install panels on your roof. I have to question their business model.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 10:18PM
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