Mary Ellen and Ray Kramer considered putting solar photovoltaic panels on the roof of their 2,800-square-foot home two years ago. But the price tag of $30,000 to $40,000 was cost-prohibitive, Mary Ellen said.
The retired Pantego couple felt that they might not "be here long enough" to recoup such a large investment through savings on their electric bill, she said. But that was before TXU Energy announced in February that it is pairing up with a California-based company, SolarCity, to launch a groundbreaking residential solar energy program that doesn't require homeowners to put up any money in advance. There is no upfront cost for installation, and homeowners can instead make monthly lease payments on the solar panels. The savings on electric bills generally can be expected to exceed the monthly lease cost, TXU Energy and SolarCity officials say.
The Kramers quickly signed up and expect to have their new rooftop panels within two to three months. But the overwhelming consumer response to the program has left numerous North Texans waiting in a long queue to see whether they will be accepted.
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