In Tesla’s first-quarter financial statement last week, the company said that it would revitalize sluggish solar panel sales by streamlining the purchase process. “Our residential customers can now purchase solar and energy storage directly from our website, in standardized increments of capacity,” the company wrote.
Now, the New York Times is reporting that Tesla intends to slash solar panel prices by 38 percent today, with, Tesla Senior Vice President of Energy Operations Sanjay Shah telling the paper that “Tesla customers could expect to pay $1.75 to $1.99 per watt, depending on where they live.” The Solar Energy Industries Association says the average cost of residential solar panels is currently $2.85 per watt.
Tesla’s plan to undercut its competitors is ostensibly possible because the company is eliminating many so-called “soft costs” of solar panel installation. Instead of sending contractors out to a house to design and optimize a solar panel installation, customers will now order solar panels online, in preset increments of power. Each increment will be able to produce 4 kilowatts (kW) of power with 12 panels.