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Published on March 15th, 2014 | by No Artificial

Solar Panels at Best Buy Stores

Customers of U.S. will now be able to buy a solar energy system at the local Best Buy stores.

Best Buy and SolarCity have announced a new partnership that will let the San Mateo solar company to sell off-the-shelf photovoltaic systems in 60 Best Buy stores in Arizona, California, Hawaii, New York and Oregon.

The announcement formalizes a test the two carried out last September at Best Buy stores in California and New York to see if the idea was worth pursuing, said Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity.

“Almost every single product you buy there consumes energy. We can now provide you with a cleaner and better source of energy,” Rive explained.

To promote the new offer, SolarCity will give every customer a $100 Best Buy gift card if they sign up for solar service through the Best Buy store before Earth Day, which is April 22.

According to a survey of U.S. homeowners released earlier this week by SolarCity found that perceptions about price is one of the biggest obstacles to solar energy usage.

Unfortunately, only 45 percent of homeowners think solar power is more affordable today than it was three years ago, even though in the past several years prices for panels have dropped by more than half.

To reach more consumers, the company sells leases that allow residential and commercial users to pay for solar electricity over a 20-year contract agreement. Its customers don’t own the equipment or pay for the upfront cost for the installation, however, just the energy from the solar panels. SolarCity raises money from banks and other investors to fund those installations.

Under the contract, the customer pays a fixed fee for electricity generated that costs less than electricity from the traditional power grid.

Solar leases have powered the growth of the U.S. residential solar sector in the past half a dozen years. In fact, the residential market grew the fastest in 2013 and will likely race ahead again in the next few years.


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