Looks like I’ve been out of the CitizenRE loop. According to this leaked memo it looks likely that they’ll pull their whole MLM (multi-level marketing) scheme because they won’t be able to build enough volume of panels to satisfy demand. Will current signees get their panels? Possibly. But as I said in response to an earlier controversy, PV is not a great financial investment, and there are green things you can do with your money that have much better returns. So if you’ve already signed a FRA, I say wait and see (unless some other outfit comes along with panels in hand to offer you a rental agreement.) If you have not yet signed, it does not look worth the bother.
I still believe that the rental/utility model is sound… we just have to wait until the technology and production capacity of PV are such that they will actually be able to deliver enough systems to homeowners.
I do think there will be other companies offering the rental model to homeowners in the next few years, but it will probably be much smaller scale, and locally based in states with high incentives. They’ll probably also charge higher rates for the electricity to make up for their higher per unit cost (compared to CitizenRE’s rosy projections.)
I hope the rental model (or the PV industry as a whole) will not be tarred by association. At least MLM could not exactly lose much in terms of reputation.