Sierra Toyota of Lancaster, Calif., recently reopened an updated and expanded dealership. The project doubled the square footage of the service center and offices and added a second floor to the building. This brought Sierra both business and a new, larger than expected electric bill. After looking at ways to reduce their energy costs, Sierra discovered that solar panels were an attractive option.
Sierra selected SolarCity for its deep commercial installation experience, and its unique capacity to provide Sierra everything it needed for the project: financing, design, installation, monitoring and repair services, all from a single source.
“Working with SolarCity has been very smooth,” said Jim Hawse, president of Sierra Toyota. “They gave us a straightforward proposal with a meaningful financial analysis, and we couldn’t have asked for better support from their project management and engineering teams. SolarCity took care of every detail of our solar project. They managed the entire workflow efficiently, allowing me to focus on my dealership.”
Toyota Corporation offers one of the most fuel-efficient vehicle lineups in the world. However, while many Priuses now feature solar panels, few dealerships do. Toyota Corporation provided Sierra excellent support for its solar project including a $2.5M construction loan from Toyota Financial. SolarCity’s flexible contract lowered Sierra’s costs by both accommodating the loan structure and payment terms and leveraging available rebates and the federal tax grant.
SolarCity’s range of financing options could allow many dealerships to implement solar systems with no upfront capital investment and save money immediately by paying less for the energy produced by the system than they previously paid for electricity.
Sierra Toyota set a strong example for other dealerships—it’s possible to use cleaner power and save money at the same time. Sierra may be among the first group of Toyota dealerships to install a solar system, but thanks to great economics and strong support from Toyota Corporation, it likely won’t be the last.