Home improvement chain Lowe's is investing in solar installer Sungevity, which will offer customized solar installation quotes in Lowe's stores.
Sungevity said today that this summer Lowe's will have in-store displays at some locations where customers can get a quote for installing solar panels based on satellite images. Sungevity uses the aerial photography to generate the bid without the need for a visit. It will also be able to provide Lowe's customers with a rendering of what panels would look like and projected monthly electric bills.
The company is one of a growing number of solar installers that offer a solar lease, where homeowners pay a monthly fee rather than the full upfront cost of panels and installation. The lease model, where the installer or third party owns the panels, is designed to result in a lower monthly electric bill.
The agreement with Lowe's is a step toward making solar power broadly available to consumers nationwide, Sungevity CEO Andrew Birch said in a statement. The company operates in Arizona, California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.
Lowe's said it is seeing a growing demand for solar power. "Lowe's new partnership with Sungevity responds to customer demand by providing a convenient and affordable process for going solar," Patti Price, Lowe's senior vice president of merchandising, said in a statement.
Some home improvement stores are starting to offer solar power products sold directly to consumers, but installation of the electrical portion of solar panels should be done by a professional. Having solar power installers could make it easier for homeowners considering a move to solar but unsure of the process of contacting installers.
Home Depot has a partnership with solar installer SolarCity in Arizona and California and with SunRun in Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, according to a Bloomberg report.