Founded in 2007, Sungevity provides sales, marketing, design, and financing for home solar panel installations, handing the installation work off to contractors. There are other companies out there that do the installation as well, such as SolarCity, and a few other competitors including SunRun, Clean Power Finance, Brightergy, and Solmentum.
The lower costs in residential solar panel installations have stiffened the competition, but according to the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association, 3.2 gigawatts of solar panel capacity were installed in 2012 in the U.S., up from 1.89 gigawatts installed in 2011.
Despite the competition, Sungevity still grew pretty significantly in 2012. The company owners, CEO Andrew Birch and former Greenpeace member Danny Kennedy, have said that revenue grew by “a factor of eight in 2010 and doubled again to 2011,” with staff growing from 3 to 260 between 2007 and 2012.
The equity funding came from Lowe’s, Craton Equity Partners, Eastern Sun Capital Partners, Vision Ridge Partners, and Brightpath Capital Partners. Financing came from an unnamed bank and private equity firm. The company works with profit and non-profit organizations to help bring down costs for customers, and claims to have lowered costs by as much as 30% in 2012.
If you’re a homeowner, have you installed any solar panels on your home? What was your company of choice?
Image CC licensed by Climate Watch: Sungevity employees Employees march with a parachute of the Earth for a 350.org event in 2011.