Kirsten Korosec at Bnet.com wrote a very interesting piece a couple of weeks ago about American big DIY outlets previous unsuccessful attempts to sell solar equipment.
One of the main problems she reckons is the upfront cost of such a system still putting many homeowners off.
And it’s understandable. Although more and more homeowners are installing solar energy systems and reaping the rewards of cheaper energy bills and revenue from Government tariffs, many more still see solar as a ‘fringe’ energy source.
However a new scheme is going to be piloted whereby the DIY stores will not only sell the hardware, but also be able to arrange the finance and provide other options like leasing the equipment – similar to ‘rent-a-roof’schemes in the UK where the installation is free, but the tariff payments go to the company rather than the homeowner.
The homeowner just benefits from the lower energy bills and the knowledge they’re reducing the own homes CO2 emissions.
Like Solar Panel Quoter – instant online quotes for photovoltaic (electricity) and hot water solar systems, the American ‘trial’ will see visitors to the stores able to input their own property and the software ‘map’ a potential customers house.
It’s hoped the system will include indicators of how much energy they’re currently using, what their current daily spend on “dirty energy” is and how much less that would be with a solar system installed.
It’s a brave move and I’m sure that if it works well enough, then it could herald the start of similar schemes in the UK.
To be able to arrive at a point where the homeowner states how much capital they’re able to invest in a solar panel installation and the solar leasing companies be able to work out a proportionate amount of tariff payments to the homeowner etc must surely be one way forward for the UK’s solar industry?
photo credit: bill rice