The solar energy industry was still bemoaning the high upfront costs of rooftop solar installations when SolarCity helped pioneer the solar lease, which has virtually eliminated that hurdle. Now, with financial backing from Admirals Bank, SolarCity has set out to do the same thing for the home energy efficiency upgrade business.
“By making energy-saving measures more accessible and affordable,” said SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive, “we’re doing for energy efficiency what we’ve done for solar power.”
Taking advantage of the new Boston-based Admirals Bank backing, SolarCity is expanding its energy efficiency service, which it began offering in addition to rooftop solar installations in 2010, to customers in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C. The company already has 5,000-plus efficiency projects completed or underway in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Texas.
“We’re trying to bring our customers a full range of clean, affordable alternatives to utility power,” explained SolarCity spokesperson Jonathan Bass. Electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home, a federal study found, puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars.
Admirals Bank, a federal savings bank with a history as a home improvement lender, will make available between $2,500 and $15,000 per customer, Bass said. That should readily meet the cost of the typical upgrade which, according to SolarCity Manager of Energy Efficiency Services Levi Blankenship, is between $4,000 and $12,000. That investment, Blankenship added, typically reduces a homeowner’s combined natural gas and electricity costs twenty to 50 percent.