The Solar Power Ad above

I was interested in the solar power ad above but wanted to get more information if anyone knew anything about it. The company's pitch is that you pay nothing for the installation of the solar system but pay for the power generated at the current utility company rate. The savings come as the utility raises their rates and the solar rate stays the same. The company apparently profits on the difference between the cost of the system and what the homeowner pays over the 25 year lease for the electricity generated.

I liked the concept but know nothing about the company (citizenre). I am hesistant because the company seems new, and I do not see any proof that they are even real beyond a slick website. Also, the representatives apparently get paid by referral because they jump into the comments section to pump the product whenever there is any blog or other article about them on the internet. I am going to pass on this one due to my concerns but still wanted to see if anyone had info on these products or system.

Comments

No knowledge.

I'm pretty much oblivious to advertising on the Tubes. That's probably not the kind of thing you'd say to promote a site to advertisers, but it's the truth. I can't remember details about the last time I clicked on an ad of any kind . . . but I do recall being disappointed.

Targator,

I was interested in it, too, and couldn't find much about the company either. I was going to wait until "after the holidaze" to make some calls. We've always wanted to install something like this and have never had (nor will we) the cash up front to do it. If I find anything out, I will let you know.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Thanks for your interest

I understand your skepticism. We are a new company at times our reps can be too excited. You are correct that we pay them a commission for sharing our message. It is the fairest method we could design to compensate all of the enthusiastic people who want to participate in the solar revolution.

Citizenre is very real and we are removing all of the barriers to solar power. Before it was too expensive and too complicated. With Citizenre it is simple.

We put together a video with Ed Begley Jr. that explains our offer. Just go to www.jointhesolution.com/join and click on the video on the upper right.

I am the President of the marketing division for Citizenre and I would be happy to help you with any questions. rstyler@citizenre.com

We are building the largest manufacturing plant for solar panels in the world, but it will not come online till September. Because of this, some people are skeptical of our offering. Customers can sign up online for free and the advantage we are giving them right now is that they can lock in their rate right now. So even though we cannot do the install for several months, we are giving the customers an advantage for signing up now and there is no risk. When the solar engineer comes to their house, if they don't like the design, they can simply back out with no penalty. Again, we make solar simple.

Best,

Rob

Hey!

Thanks for stopping by and giving us the background. It's amazing how different things seem when a real person shows up.

Seriously, I appreciate the explanation. Good luck getting those orders . . . and getting that plant up and operating.

Rob, where are you building this plant?

Is there a fee to sign on?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

No fee

It is free to sign up as a customer (or as a rep). We have no fees for anything. To sign up as a customer, just go to www.jointhesolution.com/join The video on here explains the whole program and it has some gorgeous environmental footage.

There is a $500 deposit once the solar engineer comes to a customer's house and the customer signs off on the design. The customer gets the deposit back with interest at the end of the contract.

We have a 1,5, and 25 year contract, but almost everyone does the 25 year contract, because that guarantees that their energy rate will never go up for 25 years. The shorter contracts are readjusted to the current rate at the end of the contract. Since energy went up 10% on avg. last year, that can create a large savings. Plus you are using clean, renewable energy rather than fossil fuel.

If you are interested in sharing this solution with others and earning income from their energy bill every month for 25 years, go to www.powur.com/join

The location of the plant will be disclosed in a press release next month.

Thanks for your interest!

Rob

Watched the Vid, very interesting....no frequently

asked questions at this time tho. The only cost, besides the regular monthly bill is a $500.00 down-payment refunded with interest at the end of 25 years. That sounds good too.

You say we stay connected to the grid, but get the power from solar. Does it sell power back to the company too? If so, who gets that credit? What happens after 25 years?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

questions

With net metering laws, the extra energy that is produced during the day, flows back into the grid. Then it is pulled back during the night.

We design the system to supply 100% of your energy needs, so the goal is that it would be a wash at the end of the year. If you used more energy than you were contracted for, you would owe money to your utility company because you used energy that the produced. If you used less energy than you contracted for, you should get a credit from most utility companies.

So your engineer would help determine

the amount of power we contract for? I don't understand the part about net metering laws. Can you explain the part about extra energy produced during the day pulled back at night?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

power

The solar engineer will look at your power usage over the last two or three years. They will then design the system to produce that power.

So if you paid a total of $1200 for your energy last year, we will design a system to produce that same amount of power, and you will pay us $100 a month for that rental. If you use more than that, you will need to pull that extra power from the grid and you will have to pay your utility for that.

If you use less, the extra energy will go into the grid, and most utility companies will pay you for that power that they received.

It is all explained on our site www.jointhesolution.com/join

Rob

Another question

how do you make money with this? If I sign on and your company fails, what happens to my system?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

How we make money

We earn rents for every system that is installed. Since the power coming from the sun is free to us, all we need to do is cover the cost of the unit.

Because of vertical integration and economies of scale, we are able to produce our solar systems at around 50% of the cost of our competitors. This is why we are able to offer this deal with no upfront costs.

If we should happen to fail, the most likely scenario would be that our creditors would take over our rents and you would continue to receive power from the sun. If they fail to collect the rents, you might just get power for free. But don't get your hopes up :)

The chance of us failing is small. Banks do not loan the type of money they are fronting us if the business model is not solid.

Rob

Vertical intergration and economies of scale?

plain english please. I'm just a poor NCer....gotta talk slow to me :)

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Vertical integration...

...and economies of scale mean that we design all of the parts to work together so their is less power loss and because we are producing the systems on such a large scale, we get better pricing from our vendors. Both of these decrease our costs so we can offer something that has never been done before.

Solar power with no upfront cost, no maintenance, and you just pay the same rate you are paying now for dirty power and we guarantee your rate will never go up for 25 years.

It is all explained on our site. Try the solar calculator on the bottom left of the front page. That will tell you exactly how much you will save in your ares. www.jointhesolution.com/join

Rob

What about businesses?

Will they be able to sign up for this? Our company looked into photovoltaic shingles, but even with the tax credits offered by NC and the Fed, the cost was prohibitive. Our company is a manufacturing company and welding is a big part. Can this handle that kind of power draw?

Have you approached any legislators with this? Putting this kind of system on new houses seems like a way of cutting down on the draw and could eliminate the need for more power plants (coal fired or nuclear) in the future. I would love to learn more.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Commercial units

The commercial sector will be handled exclusively by our national network of franchisees. These are solar specialists that will handle all of our residential installation and have an exclusive territory for the commercial market.

There is a limit to what the system can produce based on roof space and we cannot supply all of the power for some commercial applications. But we can definitely offset the amount of "dirty" power you have to use.

If we all do our part, we can make a difference.

As far as your question of approaching legislators, the govt. tends to move a little slow for your pace. We work with government organizations whenever possible, but our model works without any government subsidies. Of course, we are happy to enjoy them when offered, but we believe that solar has to work as business without the support of government or it is not a viable option.

You can read more about us on our site. www.jointhesolution.com/join

Thanks for your interest.

Rob

Commercial units

The commercial sector will be handled exclusively by our national network of franchisees. These are solar specialists that will handle all of our residential installation and have an exclusive territory for the commercial market.

There is a limit to what the system can produce based on roof space and we cannot supply all of the power for some commercial applications. But we can definitely offset the amount of "dirty" power you have to use.

If we all do our part, we can make a difference.

As far as your question of approaching legislators, the govt. tends to move a little slow for your pace. We work with government organizations whenever possible, but our model works without any government subsidies. Of course, we are happy to enjoy them when offered, but we believe that solar has to work as business without the support of government or it is not a viable option.

You can read more about us on our site. www.jointhesolution.com/join

Thanks for your interest.

Rob

Hey C.Dawg...

It was great to meet you yesterday, wish you had stayed with the group, BlueSouth was the gatekeeper and let all of us and our spouses,family and friends in without the V-VIP passes!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Don't mean to ask stupid questions Rob, visited the site and

and didn't find those answers. I'll go back a look around some more. Thanks for the answers tho.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

"stupid questions"

There are never any stupid questions. Just good answers that we have yet to properly explain.

Thanks again for your interest...and happy new year!

Rob

This is very interesting....

I'm going to read more. I will email you if I have more questions...which, as you can tell, I probably will. :)

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

the solar ad

I’m pretty familiar with solar and worked hard in the early days to
get net metering laws enacted in AZ when I lived there. I also
installed our solar system on our house in Mexico so I am quite
comfortable with the technology.

I currently use an average of about 30 to 35 KWh per day which for a
solar system is a phenomenal amount considering that in Mexico we use
about 3.6KWh or 1/10the the energy. Of course we hardly have a house
there, it’s more like a rustic beach cabana with minimal lighting, no
air-conditioning or heating, solar hot water with the occasional propane
back up and the fridge is also propane, We really monitor our use which
is mostly stereo and internet and of course occasional 12VDC blender use
for margaritas. So we get by down there with eight 75 watt panels, 4
deep cycle L-16 batteries and a 2500 watt inverter. If we are careful
we can go about 2-3 days of clouds and no sun before we shut down. It
then takes a few days of charging and frugal use to get back to full
charge.

To me here in NC where we have an electric stove, electric hot water
heater, air, heating, garage door openers and a whole host of appliances
like dishwashers and laundry the initial outlay for solar is way beyond
my means. From what I am understanding they charge you a set rate per month
that closely matches what you already pay for your electric bill. I sure
would not mind a 25 year contract and them putting solar on our house if
they lock in my monthly for about what I pay now for 25 years. I may
have to cut down a few trees but I have a perfect east-west ridgeline
giving me great southern exposure. Plus in a grid intertie system there
would be no batteries which I kinda like.

I guess they are counting on the system paying for itself in about 10 –
15 years and the rest is gravy for them. If this is the
case then it is a brilliant plan. I signed up last night…lets see what the
real deal is when they call me and we talk specifics and I see the fine
print in what they call the forward rental agreement. It does sound
very intriguing and attractive at first glance but is it the old “if it
sounds too good to be true then it’s not” deal?

If anyone else does take them up on their offer please come back here and post your experience.

If this is for real Then I am going to try and talk Jerry Meek into doing it at the HQ in Raleigh.

Thanks, BD

Do keep us posted on the blow-by-blow unfolding. I'm very curious and might be a good candidate in my flat roofed house.

I asked a friend about this--

Richard Whisnant, a professor at the School of Government in Chapel Hill who specializes in environmental law, and he wrote:
Mac,
I don't know anything about this company in particular. The idea, though, has been used in commercial settings for many years...you can probably search via a term like "guaranteed energy savings contracts" and find a lot. It's conceivable to me that the efficiencies have gotten good enough that a company can make money off the savings generated at a residential level, although it used to (10 years ago or so when I last heard about the details) be the case that it took a school or small industrial setting that had pretty high usage to generate enough savings from conversion to make contracting work. Having said that, the devil is always in the details of the contracts they are proposing. Hope that helps!
Richard
So, it could well be legit. But look over the service agreement closely!