CitizenRE leaked memo

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. 

1 Comment

  1. tomkonrad said

    This just in from an email conversation:

    One thing you might have missed was that the leaked memo was not made by a decision maker in the company. The guy was just an associate that was promoted to regional sales director, then made the presentation to voice his concerns over the company. The presentation got leaked to blogs. He was then fired and his ‘down-line’ and paycheck taken away.

    Rob Styler has written on blogs that it changes nothing. Although he refuses to really address any of the issues brought up, he still upholds that the company has the funding, is still scheduled to break ground on the manufacturing plant soon, and should be producing early 08. He gives no indication they are even thinking about yanking the MLM.

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