“Solarmojo” sounds a bit like fantasy, but using the term as a promo code will get you a chance to cut your electric bills in half, starting today. Online solar panel cost consultants from Geostellar, a West Virginia company, have worked with the WWF species conservation organization to set up a nationwide program that bundles energy savings in terms of solar employee benefits along with the other perks of working for a big corporation.
The best part: anybody looking for solar can get the same savings from now until the end of the year!
After WWF, four major companies—Cisco Systems, 3M, Kimberly-Clark, and National Geographic—each started up a Solar Community Initiative to enhance employee benefits with huge savings on deeply discounted purchase or lease of solar panels for their homes. In the New York Times moments ago, Diane Cardwell noted that Geostellar and the participating companies are harnessing the bulk buying power of employees to allow for the substantial discounts.
Says Keya Chatterjee, senior director of renewable energy at WWF:
This takes the bulk purchase model from individual neighborhoods and organizations to a national scale. A coast-to-coast, low, flat rate helps mitigate two major barriers of solar adoption—complexity and price.
Here’s how the solar employee benefits program works:
- The offer starts as a guaranteed benefit to more than 100,000 employees of the companies listed above.
- It promises a flat rate that’s on average 35% lower than the national average cost of power.
- This works out to roughly 50% cheaper than usual electric utility rates.
- Employees’ friends and families in the United States and parts of Canada can also earn discounts.
- If only one percent of those offered the option choose to switch to solar, about 75,000 metric tons of yearly carbon emissions will never make it into our atmosphere.
- And maybe best of all—for the rest of us—Geostellar is extending the group purchase discount until the end of 2014 to every US homeowner. The program is valid in all 50 US states and several Canadian provinces. All you need to do is go online to geostellar.com and enter the special promotional code “solarmojo” with your street address.
Says David Levine, CEO of Geostellar:
We’re thrilled to provide our first-of-its kind marketplace that makes the solar experience simple and convenient for the employees and communities of these pioneering companies. Homeowners everywhere can simply type in their address and see instantly how much solar can save them on their electric bills and increase the value of their homes, with no upfront costs or out-of-pocket payments.
Under the program, Geostellar told the Times, “homeowners paying an average of $147 a month for electricity would instead pay an average of $97 a month over 12 years if they financed the entire system, after which the payments would go to zero. The average base cost of a system will be $3 per watt.”
The company offers all qualifying new organizations—including companies, municipalities, schools, and clubs—a place in the Solar Community Initiative to increase their bulk purchasing power and expand access for employees, residents, and/or members to ridiculously inexpensive solar energy via solar employee benefits. SolarCity and Honda have a similar program.
Geostellar won the contract for this program through a competitive bidding process and received two DOE SunShot Initiative grants to reduce costs and streamline the process for homeowners who install solar. President Obama announced the corporate partnerships on September 18, 2014, as part of his latest commitments and executive actions to create jobs and cut carbon pollution. The company will coordinate all aspects of the solar employee benefits program.