It looks like we can add Lowes to the growing list of big-box retailers that have decided to start offering residential solar solutions. Both Costco and Sam’s Club have introduced home solar kits in the recent past and now Lowe’s is offering solar too, but they are taking a different approach. Rather than sell kits to its customers, Lowes is partnering with the California based Sungevity to offer solar lease programs.
According to Sungevity, the solar leases will initially be offered to Lowe’s customers at select stores starting this summer. Eventually, the program will be rolled out to all Lowe’s stores within the eight states Sungevity currently serves including Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.
The interactive display Lowe’s will incorporate will involve Sungevity’s “iQuote”, a system that bypasses a traditional site visit by using aerial photography and satellite images to help develop an installation quote. Sungevity says the system allows customers to view a rendering of proposed installation and get an idea of the cost savings they would experience through the solar lease.
In general, solar lease programs are designed to reduce or eliminate the up-front costs of installing a solar power system. The home owner leases the solar panels for a monthly fee and gets the benefit of the electricity they generate in the form of reduced electricity bills. Many solar leases allow the home owner to purchase the solar system at fair market value after a pre-set period of time but Sungevity has not disclosed the particulars of this particular lease program.
For more information about solar leases, check out our feature on the topic here.