The high installation costs of solar energy have put it out of most homeowners' reach, but now California company SolarCity is offering a way to make solar panels affordable by leasing them. Customers often pay less for the leases and their electricity bills than they used to pay for their electricity bills alone.

The catch: Consumers won't get to take advantage of the offer unless their home state provides incentives for clean energy. So although SolarCity is quickly spreading to more states, it’s only moving in to those states that subsidize renewable energy.

Companies like SolarCity hope that offering affordable leases now that are subsidized by the state and federal governments will help them to create the economies of scale necessary for solar to stand on its own feet when those subsidies expire. (NPR)

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