Image source: Tesla Energy.

What happened?
Solar panel installer SolarCity (SCTY.DL) has launched a new bundle called the Smart Energy Home aimed at saving homeowners money. The offering includes SolarCity's own solar panels (naturally) but also combines Tesla (TSLA -0.74%) batteries alongside Alphabet's (GOOG 0.70%) (GOOGL 0.71%) Nest smart thermostat.

All three systems will be coordinated by a home gateway that can control all necessary subsystems and appliances. The bundle will first be available to residential customers in Hawaii for lease or cash purchase.

Does it matter?
The bundle makes obvious sense on several levels. SolarCity and Tesla have clear ties through Elon Musk, and Musk is good friends with Alphabet co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. By integrating energy generation, storage, and consumption in intelligent ways, the goal is to reduce a home's dependency on the traditional power grid.

SolarCity does not describe the bundle as being completely off the grid, but it would certainly increase the self-reliance of the home. Considering the recent regulatory decisions in Nevada regarding net metering rates that substantially penalized solar customers and forced SolarCity out of the state, it's smart to begin offering solutions that reduce reliance on the grid since that reduces risk if net metering rates change.