9 Ways to Cut Energy Costs

7 of 9

Rent Solar Panels (to Buy)

It can take years to recoup the investment of brand new solar panels. So a new breed of "solar-services providers" has begun providing solar panels to companies on a rent-to-buy basis. Renters bears no upfront cost or responsibility for upkeep--that's handled by the panel provider. Then the energy firm sells the electricity back to the customer, normally at a discounted rate. For a guide on rent-to-buy programs, contact the California Solar Center, californiasolarcenter.org.