February 4th, 2021 by Zachary Shahan
SunPower has long been one of the largest, most influential, most popular solar power companies in the United States. In fact, its precursor was a core part of what launched the global solar industry decades ago. It is heavily focused these days on getting solar power installed on American homes and businesses, and that’s now happening in 7 new markets.
Expanding into 7 new regions of 6 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, and North Carolina), SunPower is already boosting its solar installation umbrella in 2021 — in particular, its SunPower Residential Installation (SPRI) program.
“SPRI enables local companies and entrepreneurs to create or expand their solar energy companies without the complex and asset-heavy roles often associated with a traditional solar dealer business,” the company writes. “With SPRI, sales organizations and small businesses can focus on marketing and selling solar while SunPower manages the entire process of rooftop installation, maintenance and repair, customer service, and warranty. This structure lowers the barrier-to-entry for those that want to enter the fast-growing renewable energy sector, provides new channels for SunPower to meet the demand of its rapidly growing customer base, and gives homeowners more options when buying solar.”
Solar power has been the top source of new power capacity in the past year. The reason is clear: it’s cheaper. People can save money by going solar, and now people in several regions across the US sunbelt can do so through SunPower. “In the first quarter of 2021, SunPower will launch SPRI in:
- Tucson, Arizona
- Fresno and the Greater Central Valley, California
- Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
“Later this year it will launch in Denver, Colo., Raleigh, N.C., and the DC Metro Area. The company plans to hire more than 300 field technicians across these cities in 2021 and to complete twice as many installs year over year.”
Solar power is growing at a fast clip again. That said, it’s worth adding some notes about the fact that this program is focused on increasing and broadening solar marketing and sales for SunPower. This is the opposite of Tesla’s approach, which has largely been focused on eliminating marketing and sales staff — and thus the costs associated with those.
SunPower puts a positive spin on it, and this does indeed create jobs, but it also comes with a cost. The question is whether it’s an effective and cost-efficient approach to customer acquisition relative to other options — but SunPower sure seems to think it is at this point. “With SPRI we are increasing the size of the solar category by enabling entrepreneurs to create sales and marketing-focused solar businesses,” said Tony Garzolini, VP of Sales at SunPower. “Our strong installing dealer network continues to be the foundation we rely on, but you no longer have to own construction equipment and manage a customer support team to be a part of this incredibly exciting industry.”
Related story: Solar Power = “Cheapest Electricity In History”
Complete our 3-minute reader survey!
Sign up for our free daily newsletter to never miss a story.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.