Start-up: Lease the solar system to power your home
Although many people like the idea of powering their homes with solar panels, only few of them dare to take the plunge and make the substantial investments needed.
If it is up to Solease, this will soon be a worry of the past. Solease pledges to offer solar panels for a fixed monthly fee, which makes it instantly more affordable than conventional electricity.
Within their lease model, Solease purchases the solar system, has it installed and takes care of maintenance, repairs and insurance.
Most solar panel dealers promise that consumers will get their return on investment in under a decade. Many consumers, however, worry they would never become able to do so. Therefore, they are reluctant to solar panels because of the cost, hassle and risks associated with it.
Most consumers are often completely in the dark about the solar energy market. Solease has the know-how and is completely brand independent, allowing it to get the best deals for its clients.
Solar panels do not become worthless in ten years, since current solar technology typically provides a return on investment in a decade. Furthermore, it can subsequently generate a neat monthly profit for an additional twenty years.
Solease enables consumers to return an out-of-date system, when new solar panels prove to be more efficient. After only three years of use, users should have saved enough to not lose any money on the return fee.
Solease believes they are at the dawn of a new industrial revolution. The move from fossil fuels to renewable power offers massive economic opportunities. Solease believes to fill an important gap in Europe’s solar sector with the lease model, as energy costs continue to rise.
Nowadays the costs of buying and installing a solar panel installation can be close to ten thousand Euros for a single house. Solease solves this problem with a rental model for solar panels.
Solease promises total monthly energy expenses lower than current electricity bills. Consumers can expect to save up to ten percent in the first year and over twenty percent in successive years.
What was the impact on climate change?
Home owners are expected to be able to replace half to almost all of their current energy usage with renewable energy. This will significantly reduce both their monthly energy bills as well as their carbon footprint. During days of decreased energy usage, the solar installation feeds back into the grid.
Time to market
Solease is currently working with five launching partners that provide access to over 2000 employees in the Netherlands. Solease is aiming for a first group of 50 customers within two months.
In June 2013 Solease has signed a contract with Climate-KIC partner Utrecht University to act as first customer. The deal allows university employees to rent solar panels for their homes.
Solease foresees an opportunity for employers to offer company solar, in order to offset their carbon footprint. This would not cost the company anything, since the employee is paying directly to Solease.
The company would provide economies of scale, which will drive down costs for their employees. Solease is about to sign with three big employers and two housing cooperations, representing a potential of more than 100.000 roofs.
This enables a profit of €34 million and 10 million tons of CO2 savings, representing the yearly CO2 intake of 500.000 trees. This will ultimately create jobs as well as stimulate R&D.
Solease is part of the Climate-KIC start-up network and has enrolled in Climate-KIC’s acceleration programme.
Solease received intensive training on topics such as negotiation and sales through masterclasses and personal coaching in order to help them get ready for their first launching customer.
The company has won the Dutch round of Climate-KIC’s Venture Competition; an annual awards program aiming to identify the best commercial solutions to climate change.
Solease has also been a finalist in the 2012 edition of the pan-European edition of the programme.
Apart from Climate-KIC’s coaching and support, Solease has received €75.000 in grants through the Venture Competition and acceleration programme, enabling the company to attract more capital and develop a dedicated back office system.
Location: The Netherlands
Read our interview with Pierre Vermeulen on the Climate-KIC blog.