SolarCity is taking aim at the small and medium business (SMB) installation market.
The #1 US residential installer will allow SMBs to pay less for solar compared to utilities under a new offering. SolarCity will allow for flat & fixed payments over 20 years for the solar electricity. This allows SMB customers to save if future utility rates go up.
Meanwhile, California SMBs will pay 5–25% less for solar electricity than they normally would through a utility, according to SolarCity. The California-based solar company plans to create SMB solar plant systems between 30 kW and 500 kW in size for buildings that have 5,000–50,000 square feet of flat roof space.
The SMB market is potentially a huge market for solar installers. Considering 99% of US businesses are small businesses, which also create most new net private sector jobs (64%), it’s a no-brainer that SolarCity is tapping into this area.
“No solar company has successfully addressed this market on a large scale,” Rive said. “Why don’t these companies have solar on those roofs? There’s no product available to them.”
The trouble, Rive said, is that it generally has cost too much to develop and install a solar array on the roofs of small businesses. The solar companies had to spend time customizing the system, which created design costs and legal fees. And with installation of the panels farmed out to subcontractors, the deal never made economic sense.