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Number of employees
Sungevity is a solar electricity company based in Oakland, California. Founded in 2007, Sungevity uses its proprietary Remote Solar Design (RSD) tool to offer a quote and system design options without visiting the home. The company designs home solar systems; provides financing options; and manages system installation, maintenance, and performance.
Sungevity operates in the United States and Europe. Within the United States, Sungevity installs solar solutions in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Delaware, and Washington D.C. In 2012, the company reported having more than 250 employees, but in 2017 it laid off over 2/3 of its staff.
Sungevity was founded in 2007 by Danny Kennedy, Andrew Birch (CEO), and Alec Guettel. 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.
In December 2010, the firm raised an additional $15 million toward its Series C funding round. In 2011, it established partnerships with U.S. Bancorp, Rabobank, and Citigroup to fund residential solar installations. Also in 2011, Lowe's, the home-improvement retailer, purchased a stake in Sungevity. In April 2014, the firm raised $70 million in equity from investors including General Electric, Lowe's, Jetstream Ventures, and E.ON, Europe's largest investor-owned utility. On December 15, 2015, it announced its $600 million private equity funding by investors including GE Ventures as well as Apollo Investment Corporation.
In November 2011, the firm announced it was taking an equity stake in Dutch solar company Zonline. Sungevity was to provide Zonline with its proprietary software tools, including the company's Remote Solar Design services and brand-identity assets. In June 2014, Sungevity acquired Zonline and launched Sungevity Netherlands.
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.
In January 2017 the company laid off senior and mid-level managers, and in March it laid off around 2/3 of its staff without notice, with sources at the company suggesting bankruptcy was imminent. The ex-employees filed a lawsuit seeking back pay for 60 days, a requirement under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Globama (Solar on the White House)
In April 2010, Sungevity introduced the "Solar on the White House" campaign. The stated purpose of the campaign was to have the President highlight the environmental and fiscal benefits of solar energy. 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 when Carter's incentives ran out.
In August 2013, solar panels were installed on the White House. The system became operational in May 2014. During the campaign for solar on the White House, Sungevity was approached by President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives for help installing solar panels on the Maldivian Presidential Palace, the Muliaage. This campaign later led to the launch of an independent nonprofit called Solar Head of State.
Awards and recognition
- "Startup sells solar panels online," San Francisco Chronicle, May 2009
- Jeff Himmelmann, 'The Secret to Solar Power', New York Times, August 9, 2012
- "Solar Leasing: Solar's Next Big Thing," Daily Finance, May 2012
- Lowe’s Buys Sungevity Stake to Offer In-Store Solar Lease - Bloomberg
- "What E.ON And Other Energy Firms Want: Solar Investments," Forbes, April 2014
- "Sungevity Raises Giant $600M Fund From Apollo to Finance Residential Solar". www.greentechmedia.com. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
- "Sungevity Takes Equity Stake in Dutch Solar Company," Business Reel, November 2011
- "Sungevity & E.ON Team Up To Expand Solar Energy Business In Europe," CleanTechnica, June 2014
- "Pay-as-you-go solar panels are proving a hit," Sydney Morning Herald, April 2012
- Avalos, George (2017-03-15). "Sungevity workers demand back pay for abrupt terminations". The Mercury News. Retrieved 2017-03-22.
- Solar on the White House
- "Where Did the Carter White House’s Solar Panels Go?" Scientific American, August 2010
- "White House's Solar Panel Installation Has Begun, Source Confirms," Huffington Post, August 2013
- "White House Solar Panels Are Finally Up," Huffington Post, May 2014
- SF Biz Times honors greenest and cleanest (tech that is) - San Francisco Business Times
- 2011 Winners | Green Jobs Award
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