SAN FRANCISCO – Airbnb, the world's leading community-driven hospitality company and SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY), the nation’s #1 solar power provider, are announcing a new partnership that will connect Airbnb hosts and guests with an affordable and sustainable way to power their homes with solar energy, and are releasing estimates of the environmental benefits of home sharing for travelers.
Home sharing is a more environmentally sustainable way to travel. Based on methodology developed by Cleantech Group 1, Airbnb estimates that over the last year, by choosing Airbnb instead of hotels, Airbnb travelers in the US have reduced:
• Water consumption by 4.2 billion liters, the equivalent of 1,700 Olympic size swimming pools
• Greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to keeping 560,000 cars off the road for a year
• Waste generated by 37,000 metric tons
• Energy consumption equivalent to the amount used by 280,000 homes in one year
"Since 1998 we have had 15 of the 16 hottest years recorded and climate change is changing the way we make decisions – everyone is thinking about making better use of what we have. Travelers, especially millennials, want a more sustainable choice and homeowners want to make better use of the 13 million empty houses and 36 million empty bedrooms in the United States alone. Cleantech Group estimated that the average Airbnb guest night results in 61% less CO2 emissions as compared to a night in a hotel. At the same time, Airbnb is an economic empowerment tool for hosts who can use their homes – typically their greatest expense – to share space and generate a little extra money to pay the bills. We're excited to work with SolarCity to make renewable energy more affordable and accessible to everyone in the Airbnb community,” said Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s Head of Global Public Policy & Communications.
When homeowners go solar with SolarCity, they can take control of their energy needs by using solar electricity that costs less than they would pay for utility power. Solar power also enables them to secure predictable monthly costs for years into the future. As a full service provider, SolarCity makes going solar easy for homeowners by handling everything from financing and permitting to installation and maintenance. The average SolarCity solar power system is estimated to offset over 150 metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution over its lifetime, which is equivalent to leaving more than 166,000 pounds of coal unburned or offsetting 125 road trips from San Francisco to New York.
“Our partnership with Airbnb demonstrates the important role energy plays in our everyday lives – including travel – and how clean energy can reduce everyone’s carbon impact on the world,” said Toby Corey, President of Global Sales and Customer Experience, SolarCity. “Homeowners that make the simple switch to solar energy can save money on utility bills and fix their energy costs for years to come. This partnership will create the first opportunity for many Airbnb guests to stay in a solar-powered home, and allow them to experience first-hand how easy it is to use clean energy to contribute to a cleaner, healthier society.”
Experts in the environmental community and former city officials are encouraged by this type of partnership between a renewable energy provider and a hospitality company that can influence the green habits of millions of travelers.
"U.S. energy consumers overwhelmingly want more solar powering their homes and communities, so it's exciting to see business leaders like Airbnb working to meet that demand head on," said Adam Browning, Executive Director of Vote Solar. "This partnership shows that solar is as good for business as it is for the health of our families and stability of our climate."
“Cities need to embrace green technology in order to modernize and thrive. Solar power will allow countless citizens across the U.S. to reduce their impact on the environment and protect their home towns for future generations of residents and visitors,” said Michael Nutter, former Mayor of Philadelphia, PA and Chair of Airbnb's Mayoral Advisory Board.
"Expanding sustainability programs, particularly in the tourism markets, is a key driver of economic development initiatives of cities across the world. Through this partnership, everyday citizens who use Airbnb to host travelers and explore new destinations can protect our planet by investing in renewable and affordable solar power. This is an economic and environmental win,” said Annise Parker, former Mayor of Houston, TX and member of Airbnb's Mayoral Advisory Board.
To learn more about the Airbnb and SolarCity partnership, visit: http://www.solarcity.com/airbnb.
Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone or tablet. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.
SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY) provides clean energy. The company has disrupted the century-old energy industry by providing renewable electricity directly to homeowners, businesses and government organizations for less than they spend on utility bills. SolarCity gives customers control of their energy costs to protect them from rising rates. The company makes solar energy easy by taking care of everything from design and permitting to monitoring and maintenance. Visit the company online at www.solarcity.com and follow the company on Facebook & Twitter.
1 Airbnb commissioned a study by Cleantech Group of the environmental impacts of homesharing in 2014. See here for the Cleantech Group report. To generate the estimates included in this press release, Airbnb applied to current Airbnb data the methodology and assumptions used by Cleantech Group in its analysis and report. To learn more about the current Airbnb data, go here.
This release contains forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements regarding customer savings and benefits. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved, if at all. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward looking statements. You should read the section entitled "Risk Factors" in SolarCity's most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and identifies certain of these and additional risks and uncertainties. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.