It’s tough to argue with free. That’s why the no-money-down solar lease became the most popular choice for U.S. rooftop power.
Now, though, the equation is changing. Falling costs are making it easier for consumers to buy solar systems outright, and banks and solar installers are promoting loans with no upfront payments. That’s a threat to companies such as SolarCity Corp., Sunrun Inc. and Vivint Solar Inc., which built their businesses on people signing decades-long contracts.