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Buzz about SolarList
“Solarlist is employing students to spread the clean energy gospel, one doorstep at a time.”
“The winner of the $2,000 prize for best overall app was a team led by Tyler Tringas, who Forbes named on its 30 Under 30 list of people to watch, and who is founder of SolarList, a service that connects customers and solar providers.”
SolarList trains and pays college students to educate homeowners on the economics behind solar power with the app. It’s the solar industry’s only mobile app that calculates a homeowner’s costs and savings with solar energy.
Best Cleanweb: Energy, Environment and Resilience App: SolarList, $20,000
SolarList is a mobile web app that calculates a homeowner’s costs and savings for a range of solar and financial options, making it simpler than ever for users to understand how to install solar in their home. Their team notes, “We train students and young entrepreneurs to educate homeowners about their solar options by providing a free, third-party solar assessments using the SolarList app. Educated homeowners are then referred to our preferred network of installers so that they can begin the process of going solar as a confident, educated consumer.” According to Solar One, a New York City based nonprofit that focuses on Solar energy, “NYC could install enough solar to supply 40% of the City’s electricity during peak demand, but has only tapped 0.17% of its full potential.”
A lot of people, particularly VCs, have a very sour opinion on cleantech. I actually think the most recent wave of cleantech companies was a huge success in that we now have utility-scale wind, solar and geothermal deployed, we have solar modules, batteries and LEDs produced at scale and at amazingly cheap costs, we have tax equity and residential leasing products that make all of these projects financeable. We have smart meters and incredible access to data and we got all of that from Cleantech 1.0. The lesson for Cleanweb is to leverages these resources, but keep your business lean, mean and capital-efficient.
At today’s average cost and conversion rate, the solar industry would spend over $1 billion and require 3.9 million leads to achieve the forecasted 362,000 residential installations in 2016 alone. GTM Research expects the industry to save $619 million on customer acquisition costs between 2014 and 2017 relative to what would have been spent at today’s cost of $0.49 per watt.
Referral programs, like SolarCity’s, are perhaps the only “tried and true” method of increasing residential solar adoption. Without the trusted brand recognition other industries benefit from (GE, Maytag, Sony, etc.), referring through friends, neighbors, or other community sources is key to enabling trust in the sales process. There are many grassroots solar familiarization efforts and referral-based business models (e.g. Solarlist introduces you to solar through your local college students)
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