This week's news was riddled with updates on the slow passage of President Obama's stimulus package through Congress. As the administration takes aim at Americans' energy bills by ramping up clean technology and planning smart grids, a small California-based residential solar company called SunRun has been cooking up a stimulus plan of their own.
SunRun takes a unique approach to solar power for homes, aiming to make the technology affordable and accessible by eliminating the need to own solar panels in order to enjoy the benefits of clean energy and reduced bills. SunRun follows a monthly service model, much like an appliance rental company, supplying installation, maintenance, and the panels themselves.
SunRun's president, Nat Kreamer, was one of the featured speakers on the sustainability panel at last year's Dwell on Design. His company describes their mission as "democratizing solar electricity," giving a boost to distributed energy generation by putting it within reach of more people.
Currently, SunRun is trying to stimulate the stimulus by offering three months of free electricity to new customers. Ordinarily the upfront cost of solar is at least $20,000 but it's only around $2000 to become a "subscriber" to SunRun's solar service. Just like the cable guy brings a box to your house and installs it so you can watch The Sopranos, you can now get the "solar guy" to come stick some panels on your roof, and during commercial breaks you can watch your meter start to run in reverse.
The SunRun stimulus offer ends in late March, so if you are curious about how it all works, now would be a smart time to find out.
Image: Chandra Marsono