"If they can, the basic value proposition is this: Say you have been paying your utility, on average, $100 a month. The solar company installs solar panels on your roof, maintains them, monitors them and repairs them for the life of the lease. The output will reduce your utility bill to roughly $20 a month, and you pay around $65 a month to lease the equipment (and the power the equipment produces, along with maintenance). You’re now paying $85 a month total, 15 percent less than you were, the installer has a revenue stream that it can use for cash flow or sell off to an investor and everybody is playing his part in reducing the burning of fossil fuels.
“The most frequent question I get,” Kennedy says, “is: ‘What’s the sting? Where’s the trap?’ ” Lyndon Rive says he still goes to dinner parties, where people know all about SolarCity and what he does, and at the end of his pitch about the solar lease, somebody will say: “So how much does this cost again? What’s the payback period?”
“‘You haven’t heard me!”’ he shouted to me, over the telephone, spelling out his frustration with those kinds of questions. “You get cheaper electricity! Full stop!’"