Citizenre and Octillion lead the way for the mass production of affordable renewable energy in the 21st century.

As a devotee of renewable energy for the past 27 years, I am always on the lookout for new companies that attempt to break the stranglehold of the fossil fuels industry on the United States and at the same time offer a cleaner, less polluting alternative to the American public that helps ameliorate global climate change.

I think I found two companies that are ready to do just that. The first one is Citizenre, a company that claims it is going to build the largest photovoltaic (PV) cell plant in the United States that will be able to mass produce PV panels and make them cost effective for all homeowners.

In addition, Citizenre maintains that it can do this without charging the homeowner for the PV panels or their installation. Instead, the company intends to install the panels on homeowner rooftops for free, connect the panels into the homeowners’ existing energy grid (known as net metering), and only charge homeowners for the cost of their average monthly energy bill.

In other words, homeowners will rent the PV panels from Citizenre for the cost of their monthly energy bill and pay each month’s total bill to Citizenre instead of their local utility. There is also a $500 refundable deposit involved, but no other costs or upfront charges, according to the company.

In today’s market, when a homeowner purchases a solar energy system from a PV company, the system is quite expensive– even with federal and state tax credits and incentives– costing the homeowner any where from $20,000 to $40,000 for an average installation. This high price tag is cost prohibitive for many Americans, and it is the main reason why only affluent or environmentally dedicated Americans install PV panels on their rooftops. But all that is about to change with Citizenre’s unique rental program that will make solar energy systems affordable to everyone.

It almost sounds too good to be true. As a result I have found several Web sites that question Citizenre’s ability to follow through on all their claims. At this point, no one can say for certain, but Citizenre’s Web site material and video (narrated by Ed Begley Jr.) seem very convincing and authentic, and I have signed up to be one of their “ecopreneurs.”

But I ask all of you to read the company’s material and judge for yourselves, and if this company does not follow through on its claims to home owners or with its contracts to its ecopreneurs, I can assure you I will be the first one to expose them in this column.

To read Citizenre’s information and see the Ed Begley presentation, click here.

To find out about becoming an ecopreneur, click here.

The second renewable energy company that I found is even more cutting edge and innovative than Citizenre. It is called Octillion, and it is a research and development company that has come up with a brand new technology for using existing glass windows on a home to generate energy from the sun. The way this technology works is “by integrating films of silicon nanoparticles on glass surfaces” which then transfer the sun’s rays into photoelectric energy that powers the home.

I’m no scientist and I know very little about nanotechnology, but the idea is very exciting, because if it works in a practical application, homeowners could use this technology on the existing windows of their homes without having to add or change a home’s infrastructure.

According to a spokesman for Octillion, the company has already proved its thesis in a practical demonstration and has surpassed several milestones to bring this technology to the market.

Once again, I can’t say for sure whether this company will pan out to be one of the renewable energy companies that change the future of energy use in the United States, but it sounds quite promising, and if its technology turns out to be cost effective in the market place, it will radically change the way all of us use energy in our homes in the 21st century.

Needless to say, both Citizenre and Octillion would help global climate change because it would displace the use of fossil fuels as a primary energy source for home heating and air conditioning.

For more information about Octillion, click here.

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