Do you still think residential solar is a short-lived trend? Because Best Buy certainly disagrees.
Solar bigwig Solar City has joined forces with Best Buy to sell customers on going solar. To start, Solar City is placing representatives in 60 Best Buys in several states, including California. Their reasoning? Best Buy customers will want to cut down on costly energy bills to power all those newly purchased electronics.
It’s doubtful whether this strategy will actually work for the two companies. Best Buy’s profits are steadily being eaten away by online competition, and this foray into solar may be a move of desperation. Still, Best Buy isn’t the first to partner with a solar company in search of a new profit sphere. Home Depot and Costco (whose profits are not as vulnerable to online competition) sell partial and full solar panel systems for purchase (not lease) by Grape Solar.
Solar City offers zero-down leases for contracts of up to 20 years. However, many of our readers have expressed doubt about the wisdom of homeowners signing a 20-year solar contract, citing complications when it comes time to sell a home with a solar lease.
No matter your feelings on solar leases (or all-out purchases), get used to the idea. It’s better to have a grasp on solar panel basics now than for your only answer to a seller client with a solar lease to be “I don’t know, but I’ve heard solar leases are a bad idea.” It’s like, say, adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). They’re much riskier than a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, but agents still need to know how they work to best advise buyers. (And is solar really as bad as an ARM?)
So, give yourself some homework this week. Read up on solar panels. Your clients will thank you. Or if you’d rather, visit Best Buy.