Monday, June 23, 2008

Residential Solar Power Without Buying the Panels: Helio Green Energy Plan


Solar Panel Close-Up
photo by Taran Rampersad

by Matthew McDermott

While California is ahead of the curve in offering incentives for solar energy installation, even with these incentives, not everyone who would like to install solar panels is able to shoulder the financial burden of doing so. While the idea of a third party actually owning the panels and the homeowner just paying for the electricity produced is not new, California now has a new player in this game: Helio mU.

Called the Helio Green Energy Plan, the program allows homeowners to gain the long term environmental and financial benefits of solar power with no upfront costs. How it works: Helio assesses your particular needs, designs a system appropriate to that and installs it. Maintenance is free for the life of the system, though damage to the system due to weather is covered under your own insurance. After six years, the homeowner has an option to buy the system from Helio at an estimated average cost of $18,000.

While Helio doesn’t state in its literature the rate at which it will sell you its electricity, Helio says that homeowners can expect to save an average of 5% on their first month’s electric bills.

:: Helio mU

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