Google wants to buy solar panels for your home. At least, that’s the news coming out of New York, where Google recently invested $75 million that would fund solar panel installation for 3,000 U.S. homes. The investment, which will be placed into a fund will allow local installers to offer financing to customers wanting the systems.
The $30,000 systems would incur very little or no upfront cost to homeowners, as a monthly fee would be charged. The monthly fee would cost as much as or less than what the homeowner currently pays to their local utility on a regular basis.
While it may seem like a lot of money to invest at one time, Google will receive a return. A return over the long term will come from the monthly fees from homeowners, with subsidies from state and federal organizations providing the short-term returns.
But although Google is paying for these systems, it won’t own them. Instead, local companies will offer financing of the systems under their own brands. Clean Power Finance out of San Francisco is Google’s partner in this venture, and gives solar power installers the ability to offer their customers financing for these systems.
And Google won’t be looking to target larger solar installation organizations. Only small local solar companies will benefit from the investment. Being able to offer their customers financing for solar systems will make it more likely that they will install them. Currently, the cost of solar is still too much for many homeowners, despite several government subsidy programs that are currently in place.
Renewable energy investments are something Google has been involved in for some time. In recent years, the company has put money into solar projects in both California and Germany, along with wind farms and one project that will enable the building of these farms off of the East coast.
Google’s goal is to use renewable electricity to power its own data centers. Unfortunately, this isn’t currently possible due to solar energy being small scale. Google’s solution is to increase the scale of this energy source, hence its multi-million dollar investment. Solar is currently gaining momentum, with several companies offering installation of these systems in the U.S.
Google has been able to make good on its stance that internet service providers and other companies can make money while reducing or eliminating their impact on the environment. Since 2007, Google’s investment in greenhouse gas removal projects has allowed it to completely offset its own greenhouse gas emissions.
The search engine giant currently offers several tools and solutions for site owners, businesses and advertisers to increase their efficiency and revenue. Collaboration and communications tool Google Docs, and cloud-based services which allow users to store files and data only are just two of the many innovations it’s responsible for.
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