After Slow Down, Tesla Restarts Solar Business With Rental Plans

Tesla is trying to spark its solar-panel business by letting consumers rent rooftop systems rather than buy them from the company at no upfront cost

Tesla Solar

Tesla is trying to spark its solar panel business by letting consumers rent rooftop systems rather than buy them. Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk announced the offering in a series of tweets.

The company will allow residents of six states to rent solar-power systems starting at USD 50 a month – or USD 65 a month in California – for a small set-up. It has also been reported that the rental plans will not require any upfront installation cost for the consumers or the signing of any long-term contracts.

Musk said consumers can cancel anytime, although the company’s website shows that there’s a USD 1,500 charge to remove panels and restore the roof to its previous condition.

Besides California, rentals will be offered in Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico. The new rental systems come in three system sizes to fit most homes and lifestyles at three flat rates:

  • 3.8 kW for USD 65 per month
  • 7.6 kW for USD 130 per month
  • 11.4 kW for USD 195 per month

Electric car maker Tesla bought residential solar installer SolarCity for USD 2.6 billion in 2016 but installations have plunged in recent quarters. Tesla stopped selling systems in Home Depot stores.

Tesla estimates that the 3.8 kW system will save homeowners USD 250–650 per year after paying the monthly rent to Tesla. The 7.6 kW system is estimated to save USD 500 to USD 1,300 and the 11.4 kW system is estimated to save USD 750 to USD 1,950 per month after paying the solar system rental fee.

Earlier this month, we reported that to match global demand for massive battery storage projects like Hornsdale, Tesla has designed and engineered a new battery product specifically for utility-scale projects: Megapack.

Megapack significantly reduces the complexity of large-scale battery storage and provides an easy installation and connection process. Using Megapack, any company can deploy an emissions-free 250 MW, 1 GWh power plant in less than three months on a three-acre footprint – four times faster than a traditional fossil fuel power plant of that size. Megapack can also be DC-connected directly to solar, creating seamless renewable energy plants.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for