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Key people

Danny KennedyPresident; Andrew Birch — CEO;

Alec Guettel — Chairman of the Board
Employees 400+ (2013)
Sungevity car in Southern California

Sungevity is a solar electricity company based in Oakland, California. Founded in 2007, it was the first American solar company to design residential solar energy systems remotely over the Internet, using satellite imagery. This Remote Solar Design (RSD) strategy allows Sungevity to offer price quotes within 24 hours, without needing to send a representative to the location.[1] The company designs home solar systems; finances new systems with its Solar Lease program; and manages system installation, maintenance, and performance.

Sungevity operates in the United States, the Netherlands, and Australia. Within the United States, Sungevity installs solar solutions in California, Arizona, Colorado, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Mexico, Vermont and Delaware.[2] In 2012, the company reported having more than 250 employees.[3]

Founder and president Danny Kennedy is a former Greenpeace activist who is an advocate for solar electricity.

The Solar Lease[edit]

In 2010, Sungevity developed its Solar Lease payment option to make solar energy more affordable. The lease allows homeowners to install solar power generation with no upfront cost; the price of the solar panels and system are instead paid back over twenty years. Before lease financing was applied to the solar industry, most customers experienced a return on their investment in solar-energy equipment only after many years. Leases allow customers to experience an immediate return on this investment.

Early history[edit]

Sungevity was founded in 2007 by Danny Kennedy (President), Andrew Birch (CEO), and Alec Guettel (Chairman of the Board). On September 22, 2009, Sungevity announced that it had raised $6 million to expand its services to Southern California and California's Central Valley. On May 1, 2010, Sungevity partnered with US Bank and launched its Solar Lease program.[4]

In December 2010, Sungevity raised an additional $15 million toward its Series C funding round, led by existing investors including Greener Capital and Firelake Capital, and with new investor Brightpath Capital Partners, an OaklandImpact investment fund. In 2011, Sungevity established partnerships with U.S. Bancorp, Rabobank, and Citigroup to fund residential solar installations. Also in 2011, Lowe's, the world's second-largest home-improvement retailer, purchased a stake in Sungevity.[5]

In February 2011, Sungevity brought Mac Irvin on board as its chief financial officer and named social media expert Patrick Crane, formerly of LinkedIn, as its chief marketing officer.[6]

Global expansion[edit]

In November 2011, Sungevity announced that it was expanding internationally by taking an equity stake in Dutch solar company Zonline.[7] Through the partnership, Sungevity would provide Zonline with its proprietary software tools, including the company's Remote Solar Design services and brand-identity assets.

In April 2012, Sungevity and Australian solar company Nickel Energy announced a joint venture, called Sungevity Australia, that would provide Australian homeowners with their first pay-as-you-go solar option, which the company dubbed RoofJuice.[8]

Every Child Has a Light[edit]

In 2011, Sungevity announced the Every Child Has a Light program in partnership with Empowered by Light (EBL), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving lives through renewable energy technologies. Sungevity and EBL's "Go solar, give solar" campaign has donated one solar light kit to schools in need in Zambia for each residential solar panel installation in the United States.

Globama (Solar on the White House)[edit]

In April 2010, Sungevity introduced the Solar on the White House campaign.[9] The stated purpose of the campaign was to have the President highlight the environmental and fiscal benefits of solar energy.[10] The campaign highlighted the fact that President Jimmy Carter had installed solar panels on the White House in 1979, at the same time he introduced several solar incentives. The panels were removed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986[11] when Carter's incentives ran out. Panels were installed on the White House on May 2014.[12][edit]

In January 2011, Sungevity announced the launch of as a way to help schools and non-profit organizations raise money while getting more homeowners to put solar on their rooftops. For every customer that a participating non-profit or school sends Sungevity's way, the company donates money to both the school or non-profit and the customer. claims it has since raised over $1,325,500 for non-profits and saved over 218,965 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.[13] Sungevity also partners with environmental non-profits such as The Sierra Club.[14]

Awards and recognition[edit]


External links[edit]