Solar leases and leasing companies have for the most part deepened the wedge amongst PV installation companies, and prospective residential PV adopters should keep an eye on the developments. For a while, residential solar was a fragmented market, meaning numerous companies offered installation services on home rooftops, without any one or two players clearly dominating the market. The manufacturers of system parts (panels, inverters, racking) were just as diverse, creating a complex network in the residential solar industry ripe with competition.
And then large solar lease companies came along in a big way, not only cutting into the markets that relatively small solar companies were tapping into, but expanding PV services to new income demographics as well. Suddenly large-scale companies were procuring panels, inverters and racking in a much more vertically integrated process. In a word, a significant portion of the residential PV industry became (and is becoming) consolidated.
But why does this matter to the prospective residential PV adopter? This broad industry trend coincides with the advent of specialized technologies like Enphase’s web-based micro inverters and Sharp’s “SunSnap” product, which are attracting residential customers and installation companies alike. There are many benefits to partnering with a company like Enphase or Sharp, but especially of interest to you, the homeowner, is what kind of installation companies end up with access to these technologies. Specialized products like web-based micro inverters and integrated PV systems reduce the upfront and long-term costs of going solar. But if and how those savings are passed on to you as you choose to either lease or buy the system is yet to be seen.
We’ll keep a close eye as partnerships are made between these products and installation companies and post any updates that will better inform your decision. In the meantime, you can get ahead and request a free quote today to find out what special technologies installers near you are using!