I’ve got mixed feelings on SolarCity’s acquisition of a solar marketing unit at direct marketing company Paramount Energy. SolarCity is going to have to lower customer acquisition costs and the best part of the deal for SolarCity is that it paid for the marketing unit almost entirely in stock, not having to touch its precious balance sheet.
Will the marketing unit actually lower the cost of acquiring new customers? Only time will tell. Wall Street didn’t have much reaction to the acquisition and the real test will come down to whether homeowners will buy a solar unit through a virtual platform. Right now SolarCity relies heavily on field agents who are costly. But could we be headed toward a moment when monthly solar costs get so low that it’s a no brainer for a solar customer to go online, do an effective utility rate cost comparison, and sign up for installation?
It’s a tall ask but I’ll say that people probably never thought folks would buy cars online when, in fact, people are starting to do just that.