Tesla Revamps Its Solar Power Efforts

Andrew Cummings
August 19, 2019

Once among the largest installers of renewables in the country through SolarCity, Tesla has seen its share of the market decline significantly since its acquisition of SolarCity three years ago.

The Palo Alto, California-based company is now offering no-contract solar-panel packages as part of a relaunch announced in a series of tweets early Sunday by Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk.

"By using the Tesla app with an integrated solar panel and Powerwall system, you can practice better energy conservation and lower your costs, especially in areas where utilities offer Net Energy Metering", it says on Tesla's website.

Musk touted the solar panels as a "money printer" for Americans who live in parts of the US where electricity is expensive. Other providers now lead the way, with Tesla installing only 29 megawatts worth of solar panel technology in the three months it took competitor SunRun to install 103 megawatts. The Tesla Powerwall battery systems cannot be added to the rental agreement, while customers can buy the product separately, Tesla notes.

The company will allow residents of six states to rent solar-power systems starting at Dollars 50 a month - or Dollars 65 a month in California - for a small set-up. Customers only need to pay a fully refundable $100 charge.

Musk said that the contract could be canceled but that cancellation came with a $1,500 cancellation fee - equivalent to 30 months' solar-panel rental with the $50 contract.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

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