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Solar for All

Solar for All

Imagine driving down your street. You look up and every home proudly displays solar panels. Does this seem like a dream from the far-off future? Not if Sungevity has anything to say about it. Through its accessible technology platform and leasing system, this B Corp has become one of the fastest-growing residential solar providers in the country. From 2009 to 2010, the company expanded the capacity of its installed solar panel systems tenfold. To date, Sungevity has sold solar to more than 1,000 homes.

“Sungevity’s goal is to mainstream solar and bring it to millions of homes across the United States,” founder Danny Kennedy says.

Two interrelated innovations might help Sungevity achieve its goal. First, Sungevity’s systems are designed, sold and engineered remotely, both online and over the phone. This eliminates time-consuming and costly site visits, creating an average savings of 10 percent compared to the competition.

Second,  Sungevity leases the panels to customers, eliminating the barrier of upfront capital costs. Customers pay a fixed monthly fee that, even when combined with their traditional utility bill (for night use or times when the home uses more energy than the panels are producing), creates significant and immediate savings for a majority of Sungevity’s customers. Kennedy likes to call it “saving money by saving the planet.” As Sungevity offers lease systems for no money down to those with good credit, it brings solar to households that could not otherwise afford it.

Sungevity has also created numerous “green-collar” jobs. More than 100 people are directly employed in its Oakland, Calif. office, where they design, sell and manage solar installation projects. The company subcontracts with up to 200 installers across the country in its preferred installer network. This creates valuable jobs in multiple communities.

This B Corp is committed to bringing solar to every family. Who better to set an example than the First Family? Teaming with a variety of organizations, Sungevity launched its “Solar on the White House” campaign. The petition gathered more than 50,000 signatures, and in October, the White House accepted the challenge. The Obamas will acquire solar panels this spring.

Sungevity’s mission is daunting, to be sure, but its innovative approach may just bring solar panels to your neighborhood next.

Want to learn more about B Corps? Visit

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Photo provided by Sungevity

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5:51AM PDT on Jun 7, 2011

Interesting article, thanks

11:41AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

I hope they can go national and solar leases would be available Nationwide. The upfront cost, although it has come down, is still too high to buy a solar power system for the home.

2:42PM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

Thaks for sharing. I like Sunegivity's idea of also leasing, so even more people can have solar.
It really is too bad that this technoloy has been around for a long time, and it is just now going to become the thing to do. Better late than never I guess.

12:51AM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

Brilliant Well done USA

11:22PM PDT on Apr 10, 2011

yes use solar power instead of wasting more money on others

6:39AM PDT on Apr 10, 2011

great idea, thanks for the article

9:55AM PDT on Apr 8, 2011

Imagine putting these on every hospital, school and government building. I'd welcome a slight increase in my taxes for a year if it meant that it would cut back on the government's utility usage, and therefore save us all money in the long run, which could be used on things like, I don't know, math and science education for our children!

9:53AM PDT on Apr 8, 2011

Sign me up. And while you're at it, sign my neighbors up. :)

7:02PM PDT on Apr 7, 2011

This President and his Secretary of Energy, Dr. Chu, have been remarkably un-supportive of solar energy. They pay lip service to it but the lack of action is stunning.

The government should be taking out competitive bids on major solar power installations and retooling our electric grid to service them - put people to work! Plus, that would redress our long-term trade deficit - making us more self sufficient. What are they waiting for??

10:20PM PDT on Apr 6, 2011

thanks for sharing

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