Online retailer Rakuten Inc. will begin selling residential solar power generation systems this month priced about 40 percent lower than similar conventional products.
Customers can get a price estimate by accessing the new Rakuten Solar website and clicking on the roof of their house on an aerial photo provided by Google Maps, the company said July 9.
The company will be able to cut costs by eliminating the distribution process.
Prices for a detached house will start at 950,000 yen ($12,000), including installation costs. Taxes are not included.
Sales will begin July 17 in Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba. The service will be expanded nationwide by the end of the year at the earliest.
Customers will be required to input their home address and the roof’s inclination angle before clicking on their roof on an aerial photo.
In addition to a price estimate based on the roof size and direction, a projected annual power generation volume and monthly electricity charge will be displayed. The estimated bill will take into account sales of surplus power to an electric utility.
Solar panels will be supplied by Japanese manufacturers. Ecosystem Japan Co., the domestic leader in solar panel installation, will handle the installation work.
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