NEW YORK – Selling residential solar-power systems through electronics/appliance stores has long been speculated but, even so, Best Buy’s deal with solarpanel installer Solar City was a surprise.
The news came out last week via numerous online reports and the partners’ own website, BestBuySolarCity.com, explaining that third-party leasing deals for residential customers will be available via 52 Best Buy stores in Arizona, California, New York and Oregon.
In a report on ThinkProgress.org, the third-party leasing option is called the most viable option now because “there are still some blockages. States are still figuring out how to adjust to the arrival of distributed solar, because traditional regulations have locked the market into a specific relationship between utilities and customers, with certain expectations from each.”
BestBuySolarCity.com does not mention specific pricing or fees for equipment, installation or when the service will be available.
But the sales pitch on the site said, “SolarCity can put a solar-power system on your home at no cost to you and sell you the energy it produces for less than you currently pay. We pay for the system, you pay less for the energy. It’s that simple … free installation, no big upfront costs, low energy rates for years [and] ongoing maintenance at no added cost.” And if consumers make the switch in a “Best Buy Spring Green Promotion” and “convert your home to solar,” they receive a $100 Best Buy gift card.
Best Buy will probably have new some competition in this area soon — maybe his week, as a matter of fact. Brand Source CEO Bob Lawrence told TWICE in its special TWICE@Home report (March 3, p. 21) that the group is reviewing the category and might have some news at the convention this week at Orlando’s Marriott World Center.