For less than the cost of an average electric utility bill, customers of the the Dallas area utility company THX, will now be able to use solar energy to power their homes.
In the first energy program of its kind, THX has partnered with a Silicon Valley solar energy company, SolarCity, to provide rooftop solar panels that customers can either rent or purchase. The cost to rent solar panels for a 3-4 bedroom home is estimated around $35 a month which includes installation, maintenance and insurance. The cost to buy the panels outright is $26,000 which does not include rebates or federal tax incentives.
According to THX's press release on the new solar energy option, the program is intended to lower customers' energy bills while simultaneously providing a renewable, environmentally friendly energy option
Why The Partnership Between THX and SolarCity?
Chief executive of SolarCity Lyndon Rive believes that the decision to partner with a utility company with an already established customer base is an effective way of reaching out to more potential solar energy customers:
"Our vision is to supply solar power to millions of homes and businesses," Rive Says. "The only way to achieve this is by partnering with companies that are providing power today. If we can partner with energy providers, adoption will be much faster."
Rive also believes Texas is the ideal location for the first solar energy program due to the abundance of sunshine and large residential subdivisions. High temperatures which result in costly electricity bills will also provide an incentive to switch to solar power.
- THX and Solar City's press release on the new solar energy program
- A Utility Will Help Homeowners Go Solar (NY Times)