SunPower launches new tool to improve buying, selling of solar systems

With so many costs and components already removed from the actual PV system, the next frontier for the industry is improving the buying and selling process for both installers and customers. To that end, SunPower is debuting a new digital software platform, the EDDiE sales tool, to offer a dynamic way for homeowners to customize their SunPower systems — from selecting solar panels with different efficiencies to placing panels on various parts of their roof — creating a simple, engaging solar process.

“SunPower is working to revolutionize the way homeowners buy solar with digital tools that change at lightning speed and deliver a best-in-class customer experience,” said Martin DeBono, SunPower senior vice president. “With the intuitive, user-friendly features we’ve innovated into the EDDiE tool, we’re enabling our sales force to help more consumers quickly and simply find a SunPower® solar solution that best complements their lifestyle.”

The EDDiE approach to buying and selling

sunpower logo

Simple system design configuration. Once the EDDiE tool creates a base design for each individual home, solar panels can be added or removed with just a click of a mouse or a tap on a screen, allowing for an interactive customer experience.

Reliable energy and cost savings estimates. Instantly see projected savings appear depending on the type of solar panel, financing option, down-payment amount and available incentives selected.

RELATED: Four steps for converting more solar sales 

Proposals generated in minutes — not hours. Homeowners ready to invest in SunPower solar won’t have to wait to get the process started, with a signature-ready proposal emailed as soon as they’d like.

Compatible with SunPower’s complete residential solar solution. Systems can be designed virtually with the SunPower Equinox system featuring panels with built-in microinverters.

Mobile sales enablement. For SunPower partners, a cloud-based mobile app offers immediate access to a full suite of solar-related content. Accessible on-the-go so that conversations with interested homeowners can happen when and where they prefer.

Works well on multiple devices. Whether in the office or at the kitchen table, the EDDiE tool performs on tablets (including the iPad Pro) with the iOS, Windows, and Android platforms, as well as on any Mac computer or PC with the Google Chrome™ browser or Safari application programs.

The EDDiE tool will be broadly available in March 2017 for use by SunPower partners in the U.S


— Solar Builder magazine

Freedom Solar launches new rebate program for rural solar customers

Texas-based Freedom Solar announced a substantial new incentive for homeowners serviced in rural electric cooperatives (outside of Austin and San Antonio) to install solar on their homes.

“Our commitment as a company is to increase solar adoption across all areas of Texas, especially to the 75 rural electric cooperatives that serve more than 3 million residents but do not offer any economic incentives for solar generation,” says Kyle Frazier, director of sales.

freedom solar incentives

The deal

Freedom Solar is offering qualifying homeowners an up-front rebate of 15 cents per watt, up to $3,000. A qualifying homeowner is anyone who lives in a utility territory that does not currently offer a rebate for solar.

The discount represents the value of renewable energy credits generated by the residential solar system, which Freedom Solar will purchase from the customer and retire as part of the company’s commitment to building a more sustainable future for generations to come.

Freedom Solar started utilizing the policy of purchasing renewable energy credits to offset the carbon footprint associated with its operations last year, and hopes to become entirely carbon-neutral by 2018.

Bret Biggart, managing director, says: “Over the past decade we’ve seen solar prices decrease and solar efficiency increase dramatically; however, the upfront cost of solar installations often makes it impossible for rural Texas residents to transition to renewable energy because they don’t have access to the same substantial solar rebates offered by municipal city utilities. We’ve introduced this new program to change that and make solar accessible to all Texans.”

Freedom Solar’s innovative rural rebate program is made possible by their partnership with SunPower as a master dealer, the only company with that distinction in Texas. Freedom Solar will be able to provide 40 homeowners with this incentive to per quarter, for a total of 160 budgeted per year.

— Solar Builder magazine

Momentum Solar launches cool ‘white glove’ solar service for homeowners

momentum solar

We spend a lot of time sharing news on equipment and systems, but a big part of the solar installation business is in sales, marketing and customer service. New Jersey-based installer Momentum Solar has seen rapid growth in the last two years, helping over 400 New Jersey and New York homeowners go solar in November alone. To keep the momentum going, the company announced a new “White Glove” Site Assessment service for homeowners preparing for solar installations. Rolling out this service reiterates Momentum’s commitment to the customer experience as they expand.

“Seven years ago I was up on roofs doing the installs,” said Momentum Solar Founder and President, Cameron Christensen. “As we grow, we want to stand out. We already offer wholesale roof work and tree removal when necessary. This new service will help to reiterate our company values of treating each home as our own and all customers as family. It helps exemplify the pride and dedication we have in our work.”

What is the White Glove Assessment?

Once a homeowner signs a solar system agreement, there are operational steps that installers must execute from sale through activation, including an initial assessment of the property to ensure accurate measurements for system design. Momentum goes above and beyond for each customer throughout this process.

“Our teams are ready to do complimentary gutter cleaning, utilize cordless Dyson vacuums in the home, you name it,” said VP of Field Operations, James Valerioti. “The goal is to the leave the home in a better place than we found it. It’s a gesture to our customers to show how valued they are and what their business means to us — it can go a long way.”

To kickoff this new initiative, Momentum leadership treated their field management to a limo ride into Manhattan for a “white glove” dinner at a 5-star restaurant to establish the highest standard of services going forward. The goal is for each customer to have a uniquely positive experience by going solar, and spread the excitement to others. More solar means cleaner air for generations to come.


— Solar Builder magazine

New solar sales partnership formed in select markets between Sungevity, JLM Energy

SungevityHere’s a partnership that could streamline solar sales and installs in certain areas: Sungevity, Inc., a technology company with a platform for the sale and installation of solar energy systems to residential and commercial customers, is teaming with Just Energy Group Inc. and its energy management solutions to accelerate solar adoption in several of the leading U.S. solar markets.

Cool … where?

Commencing in January 2017, Just Energy will leverage Sungevity’s platform to sell Sungevity Energy Systems to customers in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, four of the top ten solar markets in the nation according to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA).

Just Energy services nearly two million customers in North America and the UK with energy solutions, including green energy product options and energy efficient programs that empower customers to support a cleaner environment. Sungevity directly services solar customers across the U.S. and Europe, and also leverages its platform with a broad range of strategic partners to rapidly scale its business.

RELATED: Four steps for converting more solar sales 

What the companies are saying

“As a proven leader in energy management solutions, we were looking for the best partner to scale our solar offering,” said Deb Merril, President and Co-CEO at Just Energy. “Given their platform and approach to customer service, we recognized Sungevity to be the right choice. Just Energy solar customers will immediately benefit from Sungevity’s post-sale management and installation capabilities.”

“At Sungevity, we are focused on strategic growth through our partner eco-system, and our partnership with Just Energy, one of the leading energy management companies, is a natural fit,” said Andrew Birch, Sungevity’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “Just Energy’s ability to deliver proven value to homeowners for twenty years and our best-in-class platform will enable Just Energy to more efficiently scale their solar footprint and offer customers the very best solar experience.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Diablo Solar adds energy storage services through Adara Power’s Partner Program

Adara Power Energy Storage System White (High Res)Diablo Solar Services is going to start offering residential and commercial energy storage solutions to customers in the East Bay area via Adara Power.

Diablo Solar is a long-time solar installer with more than 32 years of experience and 21,000 solar systems. The addition of the Adara Energy Storage Solutions enables Diablo Solar to meet an increasing demand for behind-the-meter storage to deliver grid-tied back-up power and perform energy peak-shifting to reduce electricity bills for customers with time-of-use rates or high demand charges.

“Adara offers what Diablo considers to be the premium energy storage battery system available in the market today, and Adara’s customer service and technical support are of the highest quality,” said Bryan Raymond, President of Diablo Solar. “We have installed several Adara systems this year, and all customers are extremely satisfied. We are excited about the 2017 Adara product roadmap for both residential and commercial energy storage solutions.”

RELATED: Primer for buying, installing residential solar+storage systems 

Tell me about Adara’s Energy Storage Systems

Adara’s Residential and Commercial Energy Storage Systems are powered by the company’s iC3 Platform, which intelligently integrates battery and inverter controls with cloud-based software and a robust IoT connectivity solution. Adara’s solutions are designed to support both homeowners and facility operators looking for energy storage solutions capable of performing dedicated peak shifting, back-up power, demand charge reduction, and energy efficiency, while also enabling participation in emerging transactive energy exchanges.

Diablo Solar is now a proud member of the Adara Partner Program, which helps established solar installers to make an easy transition into the energy storage industry. The Adara Partner Program provides Diablo Solar, and other interested organizations, with training, customized marketing material, and lead generation support to sell and deliver a field-proven product that adds value to homeowners’ solar installations.

— Solar Builder magazine