What if the lease or PPA provider goes bankrupt?
The PV system cannot be repossessed, and the homeowner cannot be held liable for the company’s debt. Both SolarCity’s and SunRun’s financial partners would step in to make sure the systems continue to operate and generate both electricity and investment returns.
What if I want to move?
Both plans allow a new owner to assume the contract and also permit a buyout when a home is sold. (The value-added benefit of having an installed system can come into play here, since that typically translates into higher property value and a higher selling price.) Or the moving homeowner can pay to transfer the system to the new address, assuming it is within the company’s service area.
What if my system doesn’t produce what it is supposed to?
The lease method provides for a year-end credit if the system underperforms; with the PPA, you only pay for what you generate.
What if I want to upgrade my system?
The contracts only cover current technology. But both companies say that they will work with customers to minimize the costs of any desired upgrades. Neither plan provides for automatic upgrading of systems, even though the performance of newer systems will likely improve as the industry matures.
What if I want to increase the size of my system?
Neither program is designed to accommodate system expansion once the basic inverter infrastructure is installed, and the inverter’s rating will limit how many modules can be added to a system. New mini-inverters intended to be integrated with each module could make subsequent expansion easier in the future.