Bright: Solar Leasing in MexicoBy Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Tue, 08/31/2021 - 11:11
Experts rank Mexico’s solar thermal resources among the best in the world, yet despite this fact and available federal incentives, less than five percent of Mexican households have chosen to adopt these technologies for their homes.
One possible reason is that switching to renewable energy is not an essential need, given that the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) provides electricity to the majority of the country at a reasonable price. Furthermore, in light of a devastating global pandemic which has come to push some 4 million people into poverty, the installation of solar panel that can cost up to MX$100,000 pesos represents a luxury, often out of reach for the average Mexican household income.
In recognition of this barrier, Mexican company Bright Inc. has plans to introduce solar leasing as a possible alternative solution. The immensely popular service available in the US and Germany would entail securing solar systems directly from producers, installing them for free, and until the system is working and approved by the CFE consumers will not be required to pay a single cent.
The model makes the adaptation of this clean energy as easy as possible, and relatively risk free since consumers will not own the technology which would normally entail maintenance and repair costs. Instead, these costs will be absorbed by Bright, who will monitor asset health in real-time with its Silicon Valley developed software and perform repairs as needed. All that is required on behalf of the consumer is to complete their monthly subscription.
“It is a domiciled service similar to the monthly payment, which means a saving of at least 20 percent before adopting this solar system. One of the advantages of Bright is that this savings increases during the life of the contract, since in Bright the monthly payment is fixed, compared to the traditional electricity rate with CFE, which grows every year. Imagine if you had set the price of gasoline 10 years ago, today's savings would be impressive" said Alejandro Ballesteros, Sales Director at Bright.
This unconventional service model demonstrates that Bright is confident in the quality of service it provides and guarantees. For instance, if the panels do not perform as agreed, they will reimburse clients in cash. So far, its service will be limited to “energy-intensive” homes and business what incur bills of at least MX$1,500 (US$74) or MX$3,000(US$149) in a two-month period. Overall, the incentives are considerably attractive, but given the range provided, it seems this service will remain out of reach for average Mexican households for the time being.