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Tesla Resumes Solar Panel Business

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Tesla relaunched its solar panel business with rental option in the United States, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk announced in a series of tweets. Tesla Solar will be launched in Europe next year.

Under the new program, the customers can order solar system with just one click, with no long-term contract. The system helps to save around $500 per year in utility bills, Musk noted.

The company offers three system sizes - small, medium or large, ranging from 3.8 kW to 11.4 kW. The rental charges will be between $65 for a small installation and $195 for its largest installation. The fixed monthly price includes the panels and other necessary hardware, installation, support and maintenance. The customers are required to pay a fully refundable $100 charge.

The rental program can be canceled any time, but Tesla would charge users $1,500 to cover its cost to remove the system from the roof. The company said it does not make a profit on this.

At present, Tesla offers the option to rent solar panels in six states including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico.

Regarding the new program, Musk tweeted, "With the new lower Tesla pricing, it's like having a money printer on your roof if you live a state with high electricity costs. Still better to buy, but the rental option makes the economics obvious."

To buy the solar system, the small, medium and large panel systems will cost $7,049, $14,098 and $21,147, respectively.

Tesla, through SolarCity, was one of the largest solar providers once, installing more than 200 megawatts over three months. However, its business had gone weak, and it deployed only 29 megawatts of new solar installations in the latest second quarter.

Consumer solar providers generally work through partnerships with homebuilders and retailers. But, Tesla ceased door-to-door marketing, ended a partnership with Home Depot Inc, and was relying almost entirely on direct sales.

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