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Published on May 21st, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan

12

Verengo Solar, #3 Residential Solar Installer In US, Up For Sale?

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May 21st, 2014 by Zachary Shahan 

verengo-solarA document was leaked to me earlier this week indicating that Verengo Solar was up for sale and Bank of America Merrill Lynch had been retained to facilitate the sale. We haven’t written much about Verengo Solar, admittedly, but it was the #3 residential solar installer in the United States last year. #1 SolarCity and #2 Vivint Solar have apparently been better at getting our attention, and the attention of other media outlets, but Verengo Solar has clearly done a good job of getting solar panels on homeowners’ roofs.

That said, before diving a bit deeper into the document passed along to me, let’s be clear that rankings can mask big differences in market share. We have written about SolarCity perhaps more than any other solar company, but that company actually commanded 26% of the residential market in 2013 (+ a great portion of the commercial market), according to GTM Research. Vivint had 8% of the residential market and Verengo had 6%. (REC Solar, which was recently acquired by Sunrun), was next at 3% of the market.

As is well known, the solar industry has been consolidating and vertical integration is becoming more and more popular at the top. Who will come along and buy Verengo Solar is a very interesting question that is currently way up in the air.

Verengo Solar was founded in 2008 by Randy Bishop and Ken Button — not a bad time to start a solar installation company. At the moment, it is owned by those two founders as well as equity funders Angeleno Group and ClearSky Power & Technology Fund.

The company overview in the document shared with me (which I can’t verify 100% is authentic but certainly seems to be so) indicates that:

  • Verengo Solar generates 5,000+ leads per month
  • has a sales force of ~120 employees and ~220 field marketers
  • is one of the top companies in the industry for conversion rates from leads to sales
  • is one of the top companies in the industry when it comes to average installation time
  • has installed about 11,500 systems for a total capacity of over 60 megawatts (MW)

Verengo is based in California but its service territory also includes New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, with plans to move into Massachusetts this year. Verengo announced expansion into Connecticut at the end of April.

In California, Verengo apparently comes it at #2 in terms of residential solar market share, with 9% of the market. “Company A” comes in at #1 with 22%. I’m sure we all know who Company A is. But I think the useful thing to note here is that Verengo is indeed #2 in the biggest residential solar market in the US.

Interestingly, this document leaked to me was apparently published in March, approximately one month after a top figure at Verengo reached out to me to highlight Verengo’s leading position within the industry… by referencing research published approximately one month before that. The note seemed out without any fresh news regarding the company, but now it makes quite a bit of sense. Since that time, Verengo has announced expansion into Connecticut as well as the hire of its 1000th employee.

I’m curious to see who ends up buying Verengo Solar. There should be a good number of very interested companies. Any guesses who will end up acquiring the 3rd largest residential solar installer in the US? Maybe I should run a poll. Drop some ideas in the comments below and I will use those for the poll choices. Also feel free to pass along any more interesting information you have to share about Verengo.

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • Shane F.

    Is that the same with Verengo?

  • Shane F.

    To Sam Jankis, I believe I was quite correct in my comments. Please correct me if im wrong. From what I have gathered, comparing a SolarCity contract to another (my company) You don’t guarantee production, no guaranteed monthly bill, no free over production, no free monitoring, only a 1 year roof warranty rather than 5 years, and no free payment change (you charge $250)

  • Shane F.

    To Loren. First, other solar companies are not a competition for one another, the Solar Industry is still in a fairly new state. The only competition is proving to homeowners that Solar Technology really works. SolarCity is no competition considering they have multiple class action lawsuits and they took the PPA idea from other solar companies. PPA is not a finance, thats only on a purchase. A PPA you only pay for the electricity you use off of the panels. Lastly, people are starting to catch on to their bait and switch technique they use. They give a preliminary estimate, get you to sign, then during the inspection, they say they cant do the prior estimate, and since you have already signed, you have no say in what you get charged now. Ill stop now, just giving some insight.

  • abrant

    i do not know who but a deal has closed and someone has bought into Verengo.
    They are closing their Central and Northern California Field offices

    • Austin

      How did you find this out?

      • Abrant

        I know a lot of people who where laid off from those offices that are closing.

  • Kyle Field

    It would be hot to see GE get into this piece of the game.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      That would be hot.

  • Loren McDonald

    Do we know why they want to sell? Are the founders looking to cash out? Do they think that, due to increasing competition, that the company’s value is likely at its highest? Do they want to merge with another top player to better compete against SolarCity? I assume the document you received has some background on the reason for wanting to sell?

    • Loren McDonald

      Obvious buyers are 1) A competitor; 2) An investment/buyout firm that wants to get in to the solar business; 3) A supplier that wants to control it’s own destiny.

      Less obvious could be: 1) A national homebuilder; 2) commercial construction company; 3) a home services conglomerate like ServiceMaster; 4) A couple of utilities join together.; 5) A financial services company – as away to provide either purchase, lease or PPA financing.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Actually, none of that is in the document. I have my guesses, but without any real evidence to support them, I think it’d be best to not conjecture publicly.

      • Sam Jankis

        But the rest of the article doesn’t include conjecture already? I’m a (management) employee at Verengo and got a kick out of reading all of your assumptions! Good luck with this…

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