Clean Energy Choice (sometimes called third-party ownership) allows a customer to get electricity from a third-party which installs and maintains a renewable energy system on the customer’s premises.

With Clean Energy Choice, customers don’t have to put any money upfront, the major barrier to installing renewables. The customer either buys the output directly from the third-party owner or pays to host the energy-producing equipment and uses the electricity without any further cost under a long-term contract.

From a presentation by Michael Vickerman, RENEW director of policy and program, at Solar Powering Your Community, October 11, 2012: 

  • No up-front capital required from host customers 
  • Allows nonprofit entities to partner w/ for-profit companies that can use the 30% federal tax credit 
  • Based on a successful model for delivering energy efficiency (performance-based contracts) 
  • Could lower energy costs for customers over the contract life 
  • Hugely successful in states that allow it (e.g., California and Colorado) 
  • It’s your premises, after all