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July 9, 2012
  • Rakuten, Inc.

New Residential Solar Panel Sales Service “Rakuten Solar” Set to Start on July 17

—Low Prices Achieved through a Proprietary Distribution Format Utilizing Rakuten’s E-Commerce Expertise—

TOKYO, July 9, 2012 ? Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ: 4755), Japan’s top e-commerce company, today announced that on July 17 it will launch a new service called “Rakuten Solar” through which it will sell solar panels for home use.

 

Rakuten Solar’s greatest advantage is that it offers lower prices by providing integrated services spanning from solar panel sales to installation without the use of intermediaries. Normally a consumer in Japan will need to use an intermediary to purchase solar panels for their home. This includes either requesting an in-home consultation by a sales company or providing personal information on a website that provides solar panel price estimates. Rakuten Solar, however, has partnered with Ecosystem Japan Co., Ltd., which has sold and installed solar panel systems on some 24,000 homes across Japan, to develop a system where it can provide low cost systems and services without compromising in terms of quality.

 

As a result, consumers can now have a solar panel system installed for their home with a lower upfront investment. In addition to monthly savings on their energy bills, consumers can also make money by re-selling surplus electricity generated by their system, meaning that compared to conventional solar panel systems, consumers will be able to recoup their investment costs much faster.

 

In addition, the Rakuten Solar website features a tool to help consumers make an informed decision regarding their purchase by automatically providing a list of solar panel products best suited for their home based on the size and shape of the roof as confirmed using satellite imagery gathered for the address provided. The website also provides an estimate tool that calculates applicable national and local government subsidies, the amount of electricity that can be generated and annual electricity bill savings. After their solar panel system is installed, consumers can check the amount of electricity they are generating and using with their computer or mobile device thanks to the power visualization service “Eco Megane” (http://eco-megane.jp/) provided by NTT Smile Energy Co., Ltd.. Rakuten plans on meeting the growing electricity conservation needs of consumers in Japan through these convenient services.

 

Following the country’s earthquake and tsunami in 2011, interest among consumers toward electricity conservation measures for the home and the use of natural energy is on the rise. As a result, Rakuten has decided to capitalize on its long-standing experience with internet-based services to provide consumers in Japan with access to high quality residential solar panel systems at an affordable price through its new Rakuten Solar service.

 

Through this service, Rakuten hopes that it can provide an opportunity for households across Japan to rethink the way they source and use their electricity.

 

Overview of the Rakuten Solar sales service for residential solar panels

 

Name of Service:             Rakuten Solar

 

Website:                           http://solar.rakuten.co.jp/

 

Start of Sales:                  Tuesday, July 17, 2012

 

Overview:                          Sales of solar panels for home use

 

Features:     

 

・ Consumers can purchase and have solar panels installed at a low cost without the use of intermediaries.

 

・ The Rakuten Solar website features a tool to help consumers make an informed decision regarding their purchase by automatically providing a list of solar panel products best suited for their home based on the size and shape of the roof as confirmed using satellite imagery gathered for the address provided. Consumers can also use the website to calculate the amount of power their system will generate and their annual electricity bill savings.

 

・  Consumers will receive Rakuten Super Points at the time they purchase their solar panel system through Rakuten Solar.

 

・  All systems come with a 10-year system and installation warranty, providing added peace of mind.

 

Product and Package Price Chart:

Multi-crystal solar panel system packages made by a major Japanese manufacturer (system + standard installation costs)

 

・ 2.77kW Model     950,000 yen (Price after government subsidy 853,050 yen)

・ 3.33kW Model  1,155,000 yen (Price after government subsidy 1,038,450 yen)

・ 3.88kW Model  1,320,000 yen (Price after government subsidy 1,184,200 yen)

・ 4.44kW Model  1,485,000 yen (Price after government subsidy 1,329,600 yen)

 

*Excluding 5% consumption tax

*Not all consumers will be eligible to receive the government subsidy. In addition, the government subsidy is typically paid out after the system has been installed.

 

Partners:  

・ Solar panel buyer, seller and installer: Ecosystem Japan Co. Ltd. , a member of the Itochu Group ( http://www.j-ecosystem.co.jp/

・ Electricity usage monitoring: NTT Smile Energy Co., Ltd. ( http://www.nttse.com/ )

 

Overview of Initial Sales Campaign:

・ Name:  Rakuten Solar Commemorative Launch Campaign

・ Timeframe:  4:00pm Monday, May 28 to 11:59pm Tuesday, July 31, 2012

・ Summary:  Interested consumers who apply to participate during the timeframe 

noted above and have their solar panel system installed before Thursday, December 27, 2012 will receive 10,000 Rakuten Super Points.

・ For more details:  Please visit the website ( http://solar.rakuten.co.jp/)

 

Eligibility / Requirements:

Services and systems are for detached homes. Installation may not be possible in certain areas and on certain homes. Consumers can verify if their home is eligible using the estimate tool on the Rakuten Solar website or through an onsite consultation.

 

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