California Solar Energy + Energy Storage Announced By SolarCity
When Tesla announced the Powerwall, its home energy storage product, it was stated that SolarCity* would be offering the Powerwall to its customers in Hawaii and California. However, details were slim.
The SolarCity Homebuilder Program, launched in 2011, is now taking orders for the storage product. Here are some more details:
“The new energy storage service, in conjunction with solar power, includes the Tesla Powerwall battery pack, advanced hybrid inverter, monitoring and control systems and a warranty and service agreement. While battery backup is the primary application, depending on utility service territory, SolarCity’s management system may in the future enable the Powerwall to be configured for a broad range of uses including time-of-use shifting and grid response.”
The financing is, of course, part of the offering. SolarCity’s big selling point to most of its customers is that it allows them to go solar for little or no money down (without getting a loan) and then pay monthly less than they’d pay the utility. There’s plenty of criticism out there that customers would save more by getting a solar loan, but that’s certainly not always the case, and SolarCity’s key selling points (and selling tactics) have made it far and away the home solar power leader in the United States. This is the heart of SolarCity’s newest offering as well.
SolarCity’s Homebuilder Program now offers solar energy through homebuilder partners at a cost equivalent to the lowest standard residential electricity rates of California’s largest utilities. This new program provides the benefits of solar energy at no upfront cost to the builder or homebuyer. It also allows new homebuyers who are customers of California’s largest utilities to lock in a fixed solar energy rate for the next 20 years at the lowest standard, tier 1 rate their utility offers at signing.
SolarCity makes it possible for homebuilders to allow many buyers to go solar with no upfront cost and no escalator on annual solar energy costs. The program can provide homeowners in California with security from rising utility rates and significant savings with solar power for the next two decades.
*Full Disclosure: I’m long SCTY.