In the first efforts to make solar panels available in retail chain stores, Best Buy and Home Depot have announced agreements with California-based solar panel manufacturer SolarCity. The deals reflect the continuing drop in the pricing of solar energy systems, and increased public interest. According to a SolarCity survey, approximately 62 percent of US homeowners are interested in using solar panels, but fewer than 500,000 homes have photovoltaic panels on their roofs.
The main reason for the lack of commitment is believed to be the high upfront cost of installing solar. The deals with Best Buy and Home Depot include having store personnel walk customers through the process of installation and its eventual return on investment.
SolarCity, whose chairman is Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, will be able to sell its panels nationwide through the chain distributors.