Tesla/SolarCity merger: new partnership with Airbnb to install solar in more homes


Tesla already has a partnership with Airbnb to install ‘Destination chargers’ at the homes of Airbnb hosts, but if the merger with SolarCity goes through on November 17, the partnership will soon extend to also installing solar arrays through a new partnership between the home-sharing company and SolarCity.

SolarCity and Airbnb executives made the announcement in a conference call with journalists today.

Not unlike the partnership with Tesla that gives free Tesla Wall Connectors to Airbnb hosts, SolarCity will offer a cash-back rebate of up to $1,000 to any Airbnb host or guest going solar in regions where SolarCity provides its services.

Additionally, current SolarCity customers who decide to become Airbnb hosts will receive a $100 Airbnb travel credit.

Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s Head of Global Public Policy & Communications, described the deal as a natural evolution of their hospitality offering since they already estimate that it significantly more environmentally friendly than average hotel travel options.

They released some data about the impact they think their customers had by using their service over hotels:

  • Water consumption by 4.2 billion liters, the equivalent of 1,700 Olympic size swimming pools
  • Greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to keeping 560,000 cars off the road for a year
  • Waste generated by 37,000 metric tons
  • Energy consumption equivalent to the amount used by 280,000 homes in one year

They hope that by promoting solar installations at their host’s homes, they will be able to accelerate this impact. Lehane noted that they have data showing that the Airbnb community has an important interest in solar energy.

On SolarCity’s side, Toby Corey, President of Global Sales and Customer Experience at SolarCity, expects that the partnership will help them reach young millennial home owners who represent a significant demographic for Airbnb.

The $1,000 discount is applicable on a SolarLease, SolarPPA, or Purchase Agreement through 3/31/2017, and the discount goes down to $750 through 12/31/2017. Airbnb hosts can apply here to get the discount.

Corey added that they plan to renew the incentive if the program is successful.

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