GREAT COMPANIES CREATE INDUSTRIES: SUNRUN CEO LYNN JURICH SHARES VISION FOR SOLAR GROWTH AT 2015 FORTUNE BRAINSTORM E
Jurich Highlights Residential Solar’s Vast Potential, Opportunities and Challenges
SAN FRANCISCO - September 30, 2015 - Sunrun, the largest dedicated residential solar company in the United States, changed the way people buy electricity by making home solar simple and more affordable, said its co-founder and CEO Lynn Jurich, speaking this week at the 2015 Fortune Brainstorm E in Austin, Texas.
"What's undeniable is that consumers want distributed energy, they want clean energy, and they want solar," said Jurich in a panel discussion on The Coming Renewable Revolution. "Overwhelmingly across all demographics, all political affiliations, all types of people, they want choice. That trend isn't going away. That's why companies like Sunrun have been growing 100 percent year-over-year, because we offer homeowners the choice for cleaner, more affordable electricity."
Pioneering the solar-as-a-service industry meant establishing a new approach to powering homes - the model rivals the antiquated utility system, has the power to rebuild consumer trust in the energy industry and offsets the need for continued fossil fuel investment. At Fortune Brainstorm E, Jurich identified both the opportunities and challenges in continuing to drive growth and innovation in the residential solar segment:
Opportunities: Unprecedented Growth; Underpenetrated Market
Residential is the fastest growing segment of the solar industry. With 70 percent year-over-year growth, Q2 2015 was the biggest yet for the home solar market, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association's Q2 2015 U.S. Solar Market Insight Report. Despite this unprecedented growth, residential solar has penetrated less than one percent of the potential market - making it clear that the industry is just getting started.
Challenges: Reaching Vast Potential through Consumer Awareness
While the industry faces a variety of challenges such as utility attacks and uncertainty around the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) extension, the hard and soft costs of solar continue to decline and consumer adoption rates are increasing. The residential solar segment's biggest challenge in reaching its vast potential continues to be consumer awareness. Beyond that, where residential solar companies will begin to "differentiate themselves is in creating an excellent customer experience," said Jurich.
Additional notable quotes from Jurich:
On the outlook of the solar market:
"One of our biggest challenges is consumer awareness and trust that solar will still be around. Consumers sign up with us for a 20-year contract and they want to know solar will still be around. The more we can bring awareness to people of the affordability and accessibility of solar, the better off the industry will be.
On continued cost declines:
"Solar has been an incredible success story. Costs continue to decline and consumers are buying. There are real opportunities to continue driving costs down - increasing consumer awareness and advocating for standardized permitting across jurisdictions. There are efficiencies that we and other companies are working to create with the U.S. Energy Department to streamline this even further.
As the first company to introduce solar as a service to American homeowners, Sunrun has reinvented the way people buy electricity. Sunrun gives homeowners access to the smartest energy source - sunlight - and takes care of everything so they can focus on putting savings back in their pockets each month.
Sunrun (NASDAQ: RUN) provides clean energy to homeowners. It is the largest dedicated residential solar company in the United States whose mission is to create a planet run by the sun. Since establishing the solar as a service model in 2007, Sunrun continues to lead the industry by striving to provide homeowners clean energy at a savings to traditional electricity and with end-to-end service. The company designs, installs, finances, insures, monitors and maintains the solar panels on a homeowner's roof, while families receive predictable pricing for 20 years or more. For more information please visit: www.sunrun.com.