Sungevity Now Offers Solar to Small Businesses

photo of commercial solar arrayAfter years of focusing exclusively on home solar, Sungevity is now expanding to offer our solar solutions to the commercial market. We’ve teamed up with Sol Systems, a leader in commercial-scale finance and investment, to offer systems primarily to the underserved small business sector.

“When we launched Sungevity in 2008, we built our company on the mission of SFUN – or, ‘solar for universal need,’ and we’ve spent each year since then perfecting the way we serve our residential customers through outstanding service, innovative software technology and strategic partnerships with companies and organizations they know and trust,” said Andrew Birch, CEO, Sungevity. “Now, through our partnership with Sol Systems, we can offer equally powerful solutions to small businesses that form the cornerstones of the communities in which we live and work. And, we believe our expansive network of happy residential customers will allow us to quickly establish ourselves in the small commercial space.”

The announcement has people talkin’. Read more in the press:

For more information about Sungevity’s commercial solutions, please reach out to commercial@sungevity.com.

What would you do with an extra $5,000?

The Sungevity customer who won our February sweepstakes faced that happy question last Friday when he received the congratulatory call. His answer? Though briefly tempted to add to his collection of old fast cars (he already has one), Mike M. of San Leandro, California plans to contribute the winnings to his retirement fund. A smart choice – what else would you expect from a solar homeowner?photo saying hello sunshine

For the month of February, our customers received a sweepstakes entry for each friend they referred to Sungevity.* Up for grabs was a cool $5,000 cash to go towards fulfilling a dream of the winner’s choosing. Mike, a customer of four years, chose the perfect time to make his first referral. He posted a response to a question about solar on his neighborhood website and, after sharing his experience and referral code, the rest is history.

A big congratulations to Mike and thank you to all of our participating customers! To learn more about how you can join the Sunshine Network of Sungevity customers, or to learn how you may benefit from spreading solar even if you can’t go solar yourself, check out www.sungevity.com.

Here’s to spreading the solar love!

*Official sweepstakes rules

Finding The Sunny Side Of Winter

Susan and Gregg J., Sungevity solar homeowners from Milford, Massachusetts, snapped this photo after another snowstorm hit the northeast this record-breaking winter. They explained that their solar panels have reliably shed any accumulated snow within one day after the snow stopped falling – without any effort on their end – allowing them to take this beautiful shot. “And, since it has been so cold, our solar production has been fabulous, despite the winter weather!” they added.

a snowy solar home

Do you have your own snowy solar photos you’d like to share? Send them to us at content@sungevity.com.

5 Tips To Help You Ace Your Interview At Sungevity

(Spoiler: one of them involves reading this blog, so you’re off to a good start.)

So, you’ve found the job of your dreams at Sungevity. You’ve submitted an outstanding application, and our hiring managers saw that you have the potential to take our company to the next level. Congratulations – you’re already ahead of the pack!

Now you’ve arrived at the most important part of the process: the interview. We want as much as you do for you to hit the interview out of the park, so here are five easy tips to help you shine:

  1. Get to know Sungevity. Visit our website, follow us on Facebook and our blog (check!), and watch our YouTube videos (especially this one about our company culture and, if you’re applying to a position in Software, this love letter to our tech team) to get a sense of our work and our culture.
  2. Learn more about your interviewer. Some light Internet stalking can help you make a great first impression. Find your interviewer on LinkedIn and learn what you can about his or her background and role. This can provide more context around your questions, and you might discover some common ground worth mentioning.
  3. Think about the questions you have for us. Remember that your interview is a two-way street. We want to you to have the confidence that this position at Sungevity is the right role and company for you. The best way to do that is to ask questions, big and small.
  4. Bring your honest self to the interview. Sure, we want to hear about your strengths and triumphs, but we also want to hear about challenges you’ve encountered and how you overcame them. Here are other common questions that might come up.
  5. Smile, bring tons of energy, and email us after to let us know how it went! We love the work we do, and we hope you will too. So, show up with enthusiasm, and follow up afterwards so we can address any remaining questions you may have.

Now you’re ready to ace it. Still have questions? Ask them in the comments below.

Sungevity becomes the first national solar company to operate in North Carolina

Exciting news: Sungevity now serves North Carolina.

Last week, Sungevity became the first national solar company to operate in the great state of North Carolina. The state has experienced a boom in utility scale solar in recent years with 722 MW of solar energy currently installed, ranking the state 4th in the country in installed solar capacity. Due to state regulations, it has been difficult for homeowners to join the solar revolution – until now.

“Sungevity has always focused on making the solar experience simple and satisfying for our customers. That’s why we crafted a solution that allows North Carolina homeowners to experience the benefits of solar without the hassle or a high upfront payment,” said Andrew Birch, Sungevity’s Chief Executive Officer. “Sungevity is proud to serve North Carolina as we continue to expand across the country to give more people a better choice in how they power their homes.”

Check out these news articles to learn more about the new program:

If you live in North Carolina and are interested in finding out if solar is right for you, click here to request a free iQuote.

It’s the storm of the century out there. How does that impact my solar production?

It’s been a busy winter for weathermen. First, Stormageddon drenched northern California in rain. Then, Snowpocalypse buried the Northeast in snow up to two feet deep. Now, frequent storms in the Boston area have crowned the winter of 2014-2015 as one of the top 10 snowiest in the city’s recorded history.

For some, wintry weather means school cancellations, flight delays and maybe even urban skiing. For solar homeowners, it may also cause worry that their solar system isn’t producing as expected. How and by how much did Stormageddon and Snowpocalypse, representing one rainy and one snowy weather event, impact solar production? That’s the question we set out to answer using actual production data collected from hundreds of Sungevity customers. (But first, a word from our lawyers: the following data has been anonymized and presented in aggregate to protect the privacy of our customers.)

We hypothesized that the data would follow these proven trends:

Now, let’s see what happened in these two examples.

Stormageddon: I Don’t Want To Miss A Rain

Stormageddon pelted California’s Bay Area with rain and high winds, with some areas seeing over 8 inches of rain. Let’s take a look at how Sungevity system production was impacted during the storm, as compared to the previous week.

Not surprisingly, 70% of Sungevity customers saw a decrease in their system production. However, the change was fairly modest: the average system produced 80% the electricity it had produced the week prior. More surprisingly, for those remaining 30% of customers who didn’t see a decrease in production, the week of the storm was actually a positive one: 157% increases, on average.

Table 1: Sungevity’s Bay Area System Performance During Stormageddon

Did System Production Increase or Decrease? Percentage of Sungevity Systems Average Change in System Production
Increased 30% 157%
Decreased 70% 80%

Why would rain increase solar production? Perhaps the rain cleaned the panels of dust that had built up during the long dry spell that northern California experienced before the storm. (We’ll look at best practices for cleaning your solar panels in a future blog post, so stay tuned.) Or perhaps the sun got jealous that the storm was trending on Twitter and decided to shine harder.

Snowpocalypse Now

Next, we examined solar production before and after Snowpocalypse to evaluate the impact that heavy snowfall has on our customer’s solar production. We compared Sungevity production data from four metro areas – Albany, Boston, Hartford, and Long Island – that were hit by the snowstorm and analyzed how precipitation levels impacted the amount of electricity each system generated.

The results are clear: solar production dropped significantly on the days that snow fell. At the storm’s peak on January 26th and 27th, aggregate production dropped to nearly zero in every area.

Figure 1-4: Sungevity System Performance in the Northeast During Snowpocalypse

Albany Metro Area_final w snowflakeBoston Metro Area_final with snowflake   Hartford Metro Area_final with snowflakeLong Island NY_final with snowflake

Production also took a few days to bounce back after the storm, which presumably represents the time it took for the snow to melt and uncover the panels beneath. Production on Long Island, for example, returns to normal on January 31st, four days after the storm. But note that, in every case, production did bounce back: the data shows that many systems began producing electricity as soon as precipitation returned to zero.

The Bottom Line

It’s true: inclement weather will impact your system’s production. Snow has the most significant effect of all because it can create a physical barrier between sunlight and the solar panels. But in the end, when the clouds clear and the snow begins to melt, homeowners can expect their solar production to return to normal levels for the season.

But Don’t Worry, We’ve Got You Covered

This data demonstrates exactly why it’s important that solar companies have a robust methodology to take seasonal variation into consideration for predicting annual solar production. Almost all companies account for seasonal differences in temperature and solar radiation. Sungevity also incorporates an analysis of historical snowfall to provide an accurate prediction for our customers. And, we provide a Performance Guarantee so that our customers can have complete peace of mind, no matter the weather.

If you have already switched to solar, just remember: the low production that you experience this winter will be balanced out by the high production you will see in summer, when precipitation is at its lowest and the sun is higher in the sky. So, here’s to a sunny spring and summer!

The biggest match-up of Super Bowl weekend is not what you think

It’s not football. It’s not even puppies. It is the…

the Solar Bowl

Sunday’s game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots is predicted to be a near toss-up. What is guaranteed to win is renewable energy, regardless of the score. The Salt River Project, a local utility, has pledged to purchase enough renewable energy credits to cover 100% of the electricity consumed at Glendale Stadium during the game. Arizona Public Service Company, another utility, will purchase renewable energy credits to offset electricity usage at Super Bowl-affiliated venues in downtown Phoenix, such as the hotels where the teams are staying.

This begs the question: how “renewable” are these teams the other 364 days of the year? We collected solar statistics for each team and their hometowns* to see how they stacked up.

Seattle Washington solar statistics        SolarBowl Trading Cards_Boston v1

(*We used Boston for comparison’s sake, though the Patriots play for all of New England.)

When it comes to population size, the two cities are roughly identical. But when it comes to solar, it’s not much of a contest. Not only does Boston have more total solar capacity installed (12 MW versus 4 MW), but even the stadium where the Patriots’ play generates more solar electricity: 1 MW compared to 0.8 MW on the Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field.

It’s no surprise that Boston has embraced solar to a greater degree than Seattle given that Boston has more overall solar potential, as measured by the amount of sunlight available for PV generation. On top of that, Boston is number 2 in the United States for having the best conditions for maximizing the return on your solar investment, second only to New York, NY. Seattle comes in at number 42.

It’s your move, Seattle. Can you make your solar game as legendary as your defense? Tune in next year to find out.