How Momentum Solar used aerial imaging software to grow its install business

Savvy solar installation companies are using technology to their advantage to nimbly grow their business. An example just sent our way: Momentum Solar, a solar installation company headquartered in Metuchen, N.J., has been able to expand its services nationwide due in part to its adoption of Nearmap’s software, which provides high-resolution aerial imagery to accelerate site assessments.

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Nearmap high-resolution PhotoMaps showing Momentum Solar installation in Kearny, NJ – Oct. 2016.

By using Nearmap’s aerial imagery combined with PV design tools, Momentum has seen dramatic decreases in its proposal lead time—from hours to minutes—and has nearly doubled the number of homes it can qualify each week—from 2,000 to between 3,000 and 5,000.

“With Nearmap, all the necessary information is in one easy-to-use program,” said James Kennedy, Momentum’s program manager for sales proposal development. “We can decide if the property is suitable for solar within two to three minutes. The high-resolution imagery displays roof space, shading and any obstructions so we can make accurate, timely assessments. Because we can accurately assess properties pre-sale, we go into the proposal with definite solutions and more confidence. Clients enjoy seeing what the end product will look like through panels virtually placed on Nearmap’s aerial captures. This gives us an edge in our business progression.”

RELATED: Four steps for converting more solar sales 

Nearmap benefits for Momentum Solar

• The accuracy and timeliness of images allow Momentum to have faster and more accurate assessments, allowing time for more successful appointments each day.
• Nearmap’s high-resolution images make solar panel planning easier. Higher resolution images lead to better measurements, allowing Momentum to better plan and visualize where solar panels can be placed on a roof.
• Momentum can create a panel placement proposal in 5-7 minutes, a task that previously took two to three times that long.
• Nearmap’s efficient design makes it easy for Momentum to show its customers exactly what the final results will look like, and quickly make any necessary adjustments.

Nearmap also gives Momentum an advantage in the ability to see images of a property in the past. These images taken at different times of the year allow Momentum to see a property in all seasons. Bare trees pose no problem to solar panels in the winter, but when the trees are in full bloom during spring and summer, they can create enough shade to disqualify a home or severely inhibit a system’s production. Switching between past and present images gives a more complete understanding of a property and allows for proper qualification of a home.

— Solar Builder magazine

Momentum Solar eyes Southern California for its next expansion move

Momentum Solar is a fast-growing national solar contractor and has identified Southern California as its next location for further West Coast expansion. Prior to extending operations further north and south, Momentum is specifically focused on Anaheim and its surrounding cities to position the business for seamless transitions into more territories.

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What’s the plan?

While many solar companies have either touched down in California for a short amount of time or not at all, citing difficulty in sustaining continual growth, Momentum looks at this region as an opportunity to continue educating homeowners and business owners on the benefits of solar adoption. Offering some of the most unique and convenient perks nationwide with the persistence and dedication to always hire in-house, California homeowners largely benefit from Momentum’s customized designs and installations at a cost-effective rate.

“We welcome what other companies may see as a challenge,” said Chief Revenue Officer, Alex Sheikh. “California has always been number one for solar installation throughout the country, and Orange County and its surrounding areas are the most densely populated. We are dedicated to educating as many people as we can and to make an impact even in a state that is a senior in the industry. There are still many homeowners that do not know how easy and affordable it is to make the switch.”

Momentum Solar is known for its’ “no-strings-attached” offering — homeowners can go solar for no money out of pocket and pay a lower electric bill. Roof repairs or replacement are offered wholesale for homes that are being prepped for installation, and complimentary tree removal is offered for qualifying homes. No-obligation consultations are free and important to offer in the Golden State that is continually experiencing stress on the power grid.

“California’s energy crisis is widely known,” said Sheikh. “As rates continue to rise, we’re here to offer a solution. Homeowners can choose price protection with Momentum Solar so that they know what they will be paying tomorrow and for the next two decades.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Momentum Solar launches solar savings sweepstakes promotion with $100,000 prize

momentum solarMomentum Solar has seen significant growth and trajectory within the last year. With more than 275 employees in the metro area, the firm expects to add another 100 workers by Q1 of 2017. Momentum anticipates even higher acquisition within the next few months due to this desirable business model.

The “Momentum Solar Savings Sweepstakes” promotion, recently launched, is offered to any homeowner in New Jersey or New York that fills out a brief form online. Not only are they all given a chance to qualify for home solar, but they’re automatically enrolled in a raffle with a chance to win a ‘Grand Prize’ of $100,000 — among several other generous offers.

“We decided to run the Sweepstakes to motivate more homeowners to qualify for home solar,” said Vice President and Head of Sales, Alex Sheikh. “There are so many eligible rooftops and consultations are always free, so why not fill out a quick form to enter? Homeowners have the potential to win the Grand Prize, a vacation, or even a gift card – and may end up with a lower electric bill too. There’s nothing to lose.”

RELATED: Four steps for converting more solar sales 

While Momentum is offering this sweepstakes to make homeowners aware of the benefits of solar, the Company also looks forward to offering these giveaways to hardworking people in the local community. This opportunity aligns with the Company’s values of education over a sales pitch – their goal is to spread the knowledge and importance of solar for our economy as well as the environment of future generations.

Any homeowner can enter to win on the firm’s website until August 14, 2017. Multiple drawings for different prizes will be made throughout the Sweepstakes starting November 15, 2016, with the final prize being announced on the last day of the Sweepstakes.

— Solar Builder magazine

Momentum Solar continues to expand, is looking to hire

Momentum Solar is a privately held solar energy company headquartered in Metuchen, N.J., that just announced its rapid expansion in the Tri-State area. In fact, Momentum showed an averaged 74 percent increase in workforce quarter over quarter since the beginning of 2015.

momentum solarAs part of its model, Momentum tries to stay away from subcontracting, which the company believes becomes problematic if the teams are unreliable or not similarly trained. Momentum has complete control over training installers on the equipment being utilized.

So, all of this expansion requires more bodies. Recruiters at Momentum are determined to continue sourcing both experienced N.J. solar energy professionals and local recent graduates of trade schools, while also networking within the industry to onboard local talent. The majority of placements are operational and integral in completing a solar installation.

“The average system size for homeowners makes our consumption offset nearly 95-100%, based on how much the solar system produces. We build each job in about 1-2 days but 1-day installs are always our goal,” said James Valerioti, VP of Field Operations. “Our experienced internal teams always work efficiently to reach that goal.”

After the field crew completes a solar installation and the Permission to Operate (PTO) is granted by the local utility, the system is able to tie into the power grid once confirmed it is working properly. This is why it’s so important to have control over who completes each installation. The homeowner can then flick the ‘solar switch’ and start saving money by producing clean energy.

— Solar Builder magazine