Automation, Transparency Transform Solar Photovoltaic Shopping for Homeowners, Businesses and Non-profits
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--EnergySage (www.energysage.com), a free-to-the-consumer online marketplace for solar photovoltaic and other clean energy technologies, announced the release of the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive platform for researching and shopping for solar PV (also referred to as solar panel and solar power) systems for homeowners, businesses and non-profits. Through automation and standardization, the EnergySage Solar Marketplace delivers unprecedented simplicity and transparency to the complex solar shopping experience, allowing consumers to easily make purchase decisions that maximize the value they will receive. Consumers solicit and receive multiple quotes from a pre-screened network of high-quality solar installation providers. The quotes, presented in a clear, apples-to-apples format, highlight key metrics and are supported by easy-to-use decision-making tools. The site also includes robust educational content; real-life case studies with pictures and financial details; and installer and product profiles with ratings and reviews. By reducing the soft costs associated with solar sales and marketing efforts, it delivers financial benefits to both consumers and solar installers and financiers, while expanding the market through increased demand for these systems. The platform's development was funded in part by a U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Award in June 2012. Initially, the Solar Marketplace is focused on the Northeastern United States, and will roll out rapidly to additional markets.
"The solar shopping process can be complicated and confusing for consumers. Many ultimately give up and do nothing because they can't be sure they're making the right decision," explains EnergySage CEO Vikram Aggarwal. "The EnergySage Solar Marketplace is designed to simplify this process and add much needed transparency. This is an important financial as well as environmental decision and the Marketplace gives consumers the information and insight they need to make the right decision for their own specific needs."
Most consumers considering a solar power system do not know where to begin, and for those bold enough to request quotes from several installers, the process of comparing these options is incredibly complex and time-consuming. EnergySage removes the guesswork from the process. Its network of high-quality installation providers, in conjunction with its consumer-oriented platform, makes the process easy and fast. Similar to websites such as Expedia, the site is free for consumers while providers pay a small commission for new business received through the site.
The Solar Marketplace consolidates the available purchase and financing options into a single online market that includes everything from zero-cost leasing to debt financing and outright purchases. "The market has evolved to offer consumers an extensive set of innovative financing choices," continues Aggarwal. "The Marketplace helps consumers evaluate multiple options and determine the one that makes the most sense for their particular financial situation."
The EnergySage solar installer and financing network is made up of pre-screened, high-quality providers. EnergySage delivers tremendous value by targeting "soft costs" such as high sales and marketing expenses, which limit profitability, keep prices high, and slow market growth. "Providers are spending an incredible amount of time and money in their efforts to acquire new customers. EnergySage drives these costs down by facilitating a more efficient sales process," said John Gingrich, Head of Corporate Development at EnergySage. "The information and transparency EnergySage brings to the shopping process helps consumers make faster, more confident decisions."
Additionally, sustainability-focused organizations—including government, non-profits, and employers who are promoting solar and other clean energy options—will be able to leverage the platform to support their own efforts. The EnergySage Solar Marketplace is an effective, turnkey platform to manage these solar programs for their members, employees and other constituents. The platform makes it easier and more cost-efficient for them to promote sustainability, educate their audience, provide them with a larger variety of choices, and ultimately help them to choose the system, installer, and financing option that will provide them with most value.
"Evaluating and investing in a solar power system should be as easy as buying any other home appliance," continues Aggarwal. "We believe that the ease and transparency that the EnergySage Marketplace brings to the solar shopping process is a significant step toward achieving our ultimate goal of clean energy systems at every home, business and non-profit."
EnergySage.com simplifies the shopping process for solar and other clean energy technologies by creating an informative, transparent marketplace for homeowners, businesses and non-profits. Our free suite of educational, analytical, and shopping tools -- all in one convenient, easy to use website -- help consumers determine suitable clean energy solutions and confidently proceed with installing solar, wind, geothermal or other technologies at their home, business or non-profit. Consumers can learn about clean technologies and their financial and environmental benefits; they can shop using our automated Marketplace, which provides a simple, transparent, empowering comparison-shopping experience; and they can share their knowledge and experience with others who are looking to make similar switch to clean and renewable energy. EnergySage.com helps manufacturers, installers, builders, financiers and other professionals by increasing consumer awareness, knowledge and demand for their services. By growing the market, we help the industry by driving sales and profits and reducing customer acquisition costs and sales cycle times. EnergySage: Learn. Shop. Share. www.energysage.com. EnergySage.com is operated by Distributed Energy Research & Solutions, Inc.