Tesla To Rent Home Solar Panel Systems From $50 Per Month In Six States

Engineer and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk of The Boring Company listens as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks about constructing a high speed transit tunnel at Block 37 during a news conference on June 14, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.
Joshua Lott / Getty Images

Tesla is offering a new way for people to get their hands on its rooftop solar panels. The company is making solar power more affordable for the average homeowner with rental plans starting at $50 per month. According to The Verge, Tesla is hoping to save its floundering solar division with panel packages that have no long-term contract in order to reach a wider audience.

On Sunday, Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk announced that the company was relaunching its solar division. Right now, the rental plan will be available in six states — California, Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New Mexico.

“Tesla Solar just relaunched. Lmk what you think …” he tweeted.

In every state except California, where plans will be priced at $65 and upward, rentals will start at $50. Next year, the rental option will launch in Europe.

Musk sold the plan with a social media message urging people to get solar panels on their home in order to save money on electricity over the long term.

“With the new lower Tesla pricing, it’s like having a money printer on your roof if you live a state with high electricity costs. Still better to buy, but the rental option makes the economics obvious,” Musk tweeted.

The plan doesn’t have any long-term contract, though users will have to pay a $1,500 fee to remove the panels from their roof. People must also own their home to have the system installed.

“One click to order solar & save ~$500/year in utility bills with no long-term contract (cancel anytime),” Musk added in a second tweet.

The $50 option will allow customers to use about 10 to 14kWh of energy each day, or 19 to 28kWh for $100 a month ($130 in California). The largest option gives homeowners 29 to 41kWh per day for $150 ($195 in California). There’s no guarantee, however, that the monthly price won’t go up over time. If one were to purchase the system, it would be about $10,000 for the smaller option, $20,000 for the medium, and $30,000 for the large one.

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According to the Los Angeles Times, Tesla’s futuristic solar panel system, which features panels that look like roof tiles rather than the familiar black, raised panel, hasn’t been selling as well as the company hoped.

The rental option seems to be a way to increase business after months of declining sales.

“It seems clear that Tesla is now trying to rebound their growth volumes having hit record lows,” said Wood Mackenzie senior solar analyst Michelle Davis. “Tesla will need to prove they can manage their financials successfully this time around.”

Following the announcement, Tesla stock saw a slight increase on the NASDAQ, jumping just over 3 percent by the day’s close.