Honda, SolarCity raise $65 mln for dealership, home solar systems

Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:59pm EST

Feb 19 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co's U.S. division is partnering with solar power company SolarCity Corp on a $65 million fund to help its customers and dealerships finance solar projects.

The companies did not say how much money they each contributed to the fund, which is expected to finance systems for between 2,500 and 3,000 residential homes, as well as 10 to 20 dealerships.

SolarCity, which installs and maintains the panels, has raised similar funds from banks such as U.S. Bancorp and from Google Inc, but this is the first such deal with an automaker.

"This is really the first initiative like this," said Steve Center, vice president of the environmental business development office for American Honda Motor Co. "We've got some of the most sought after customers in the marketplace."

The funds allow homeowners to pay a monthly fee for their solar panels rather than pay for them all at once. The growth of such financing in the solar industry has made going solar an option for households that otherwise could not afford it.

The move is part of Honda's goal to reduce is greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050, executives said on Monday. As the owners of the panel systems, Honda and SolarCity will also be able to claim a federal tax credit worth 30 percent of the value of the system.

"My hope is that this sends a message to other corporations to follow," SolarCity Chief Executive Lyndon Rive said in an interview.

Honda customers will be able to claim an additional $400 discount beyond what they would receive from SolarCity directly.

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Comments (1)
RonWint wrote:
Solar leasing or solar fleecing ? You decide. The solar leasing companies want your roof so that they can take your 30% federal tax credit worth thousands of dollars. They will also take any and all other financial incentives such as cash rebates and REC credits. In exchange you’ll only get a 10 to 15% reduction in your electric bill after you factor in the lease payments and you’ll be stuck with 20 years’ worth of lease payments on forever ageing solar equipment that you can’t sell because it won’t belong to you. In fact after making 20 years’ worth of lease payments, if you want to keep the system, you’ll have to buy it from the leasing company at fair market value. And good luck ever selling your home with a lease attached to it. What home buyer will want to assume your lease payment on used equipment when they can buy a brand new, state of the art system for as little as 1/3 the cost of your lease payments. Today you can buy a complete, name brand, grid tie solar system for only $1.66 a watt. And that’s before any incentives. Instead of a solar lease why not get an FHA $0 down solar loan so you can keep the 30% federal tax credit and all the other financial incentives for a much better return on your investment. Oh, and that discount that the leasing company is offering you, who do you think is paying for that in the end? Right, how generous of you.

Feb 21, 2013 6:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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