Fellow IABC member and PR professional, Len Gutman, is one of the first people in the Valley of the Sun to install solar panels on his roof. It’s an interesting tale of a PR practitioner getting involved in a word-of-mouth campaign with a sustainability edge to it.
SolarCity, the company with whom the Gutman family signed up, had suggested they hold a ‘solar party’ to tell friends and neighbors about the decision. “We thought that was a great idea and so we held one a few weeks ago and more than 50 people showed up,” says Len.
Sort of like a Tupperware party for the planet.
The investment was hard to beat – zero down! Basically the panels are leased –the Gutman’s monthly lease payment practically offsets the cost they save on their electric bill.
And here’s the kicker. So far, seven of those who attended the party have also signed with SolarCity and the hosts will get a referral fee. Is this great PR for SolarCity, or what?
What happens when the 15-year lease is up? “We have several options – we can have them removed at no cost, we can re-lease them for five more years, we can upgrade to new technology and start a new lease, or we can buy them for the residual value,” says Len. “Just like leasing a car!”