Who better to drive solar adoption in the United States than an automaker? That was the thinking behind SolarCity’s deal this week with American Honda (News - Alert) Motor Co. of Torrance, California.
The San Mateo, California-based solar installer and the Torrance, California-based division of Japan’s second-largest car manufacturer have announced a partnership geared to make solar power more affordable and available to U.S. Honda and Acura customers in SolarCity’s 14-state service area—providing a cleaner source of electricity at a lower cost than utility-supplied power.
Together, they have established an investment fund to finance $65 million in solar projects to assist Honda and Acura customers in installing solar power with little or no upfront cost, depending on the customer’s selection of plans. Customers will be given a choice to pre-pay for their solar electricity, or to pay a monthly payment that will be lower than the cost of their current utility bill, with insurance, repairs and monitoring service included.
“At Honda, we are always looking at ways to improve the lives of our customers while reducing our environmental footprint,” said Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office of American Honda Motor Co. “We believe Honda and Acura customers are going to be very interested in going solar once they find out that they can install solar at their home with little or no upfront cost, can lower their monthly utility bill, and can make a positive contribution to protecting the environment.”
Customer eligibility will depend on individual credit and home-specific solar insulation levels, energy usage, permitting requirements and availability of local incentives. The limited-time fund should be able to accommodate thousands of interested homeowners
SolarCity (News - Alert) has developed a proprietary system that has greatly simplified the process by which homeowners can go solar. From an initial phone call or Web consultation, SolarCity can quickly assess whether a homeowner is a good candidate for solar, and can design a custom solar system to meet a customer’s specific energy needs.
SolarCity installation at a Honda dealership on Long Island, New York
In addition to offering affordable solar power, the partnership will enable owners of Honda and Acura products to make energy-efficiency upgrades—such as weatherization and more efficient heating and cooling—that can further reduce their home energy consumption.
Honda and Acura dealerships in SolarCity’s service territory also may be able to take advantage of the offer to install affordable solar power. Honda and SolarCity will explore opportunities to integrate solar power and electric vehicle recharging, envisioning a future in which Fit EV and Accord Plug-In hybrid owners will be able to charge their cars from the power of the sun, thereby reducing household carbon dioxide emissions to nearly zero.
SolarCity offers service in all or parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.
“By making it easier and more affordable for its customers to use clean power, Honda is reinforcing the fact that solar is the new normal,” said SolarCity CEO, Lyndon Rive. “This is an unprecedented partnership—few companies have made a more substantive or comprehensive commitment to environmental responsibility than Honda.”
Edited by Braden Becker