As a welcome relief the new deal on solar panels financing for homes, being offered by American Honda Motor Co. Inc. when it was announced this week.
The giant car marker is teaming up with an American service provider, SolarCity, to lease rooftop solar systems in long-term contracts for less than the cost of conventional electricity taken from the grid. That is a pretty great deal for anyone considering solar panels for their home.
Honda gets to firm up its relationship with clients by offering a bunch of new energy products and SolarCity gets a new stream of customers. In the industry this is known as cross marketing and has proven very effective in the past. You see, customers stand to get a break on power bills, and the environment gets a break, too. Also, the overburdened utilities get a break to.
But most of all this could very well mean money in your pocket as you do not have to shell out as much up front.
The upfront costs have been prohibitive for some families.
But the news coincides with events in the solar energy industry that are bringing forward the day when subsidy-free photovoltaic solar systems may compete with conventional power. It is very close now.
Cheap solar panels and related components from China have been flooding into Europe and the United States, triggering trade disputes and retaliations while lowering the cost of harnessing solar energy. The U.S manufacturers are playing hard ball and learning to compete better in a global marketplace. What this means for you is lower prices on solar equipment.
And, when giant manufacturers get together to build a better energy system the consumer wins again.
In January, it was predicted by a Swiss company that rooftop solar power could soon reach “socket parity” or “grid parity” with conventional electricity in some European countries, making it comparable in terms of relative costs.
The convergence in costs, say energy analysts, is being driven by declining prices for solar equipment and cheaper battery systems to store solar power, at a time when rates for grid-based power are trending up.
That makes it a great time to be investing in solar power systems and this suggests that this could reverse the upward trend in power rates for households, and adding battery storage into the mix could drive down electricity costs.
If you have a large commercial building with rooftop real estate also stand to benefit from this financing option for solar panels.
The installed cost of photovoltaic systems remains out of reach for most homeowners. With this new development by SolarCity and Honda that gap just got a little smaller.
The solar panels choice just became easier.