Published on May 21st, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan14
Verengo Solar, #3 Residential Solar Installer In US, Up For Sale?
May 21st, 2014 by Zachary Shahan
A 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.
Drive an electric car? Complete one of our short surveys for our next electric car report.
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.