One of the biggest problems salespeople for SolarCity is convincing homeowners they're not scam artists. What they offer seems to be too good to be true: Solar panels on your house for less money than you're paying PG&E for electricity. And Google's playing a role in this low-cost play.
Take my house, for example. I pay a staggering $260 a month for electricity - for this I blame my children. SolarCity did a site survey on my home and estimates solar panels would cut my electric bill to just $50 a month, leaving $210 savings. From that savings, SolarCity gets a payment of $165 per month to lease the panels. I come out $45 ahead each and every month. And I'm helping the environment.
The deal just got better, thanks to new funding. US Bancorp and Mountain View based Google just handed more than a quarter billion dollars in cash to SolarCity, giving the company enough liquidity to offer the entire deal to homeowners for nothing down.
"This collaboration with Google will enable us to provide solar power to thousands of homeowners at or below the cost they currently pay for electricity." SolarCity vice president Benjamin Cook said in a press release.
SolarCity has about 14,000 customers, most of which finance their solar panels. The company was founded by Lindon Rive and funded in large part by his cousin, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.