Energy Innovation in the Northeast Boosts the Solar Market

01 August 2014 Renewable Energy Outlook Blog

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey are pioneering some of the nation’s most interesting developments in the retail energy space today that have important implications for the solar industry.

In Massachusetts, the state has built an energy portfolio that now supplies 9% of electrical consumption from new renewable sources, including 600MW of installed solar. The state’s goal is to reach 1,600MW by 2020.  New York is home to the largest solar farm on the east coast, a 37MW solar farm on Long Island, as well as the 17MW enXco Eastern Long Island Solar Project, which consists of seven solar projects. Further, New York is planning to build a 50MW solar farm on 250 acres of a closed land fill.  As the solar market grows, so does market innovation and new approaches to retail energy.

One ground-breaking example of innovation in the solar market is a recent trend where solar companies are working with energy retailers and service providers to increase homeowner accessibility to solar energy. OneRoof Energy, Inc., a complete solar services provider and a wholly owned subsidiary of OneRoof Energy Group, Inc., along with one of the world’s largest energy providers and energy comparison shopping provider, Choose Energy and Think Energy (a retail electricity provider), formed a partnership in the deregulated energy market in Massachusetts that gives homeowners complete control over their electricity supply and delivery. Many solar systems installed on a residential house in the region cover about 70 percent of its electricity needs. The homeowner is then responsible for finding an alternative source of electricity for the left-over portion. Further, most entities installing solar panels and providing solar leases are not utilities. Through these partnerships, homeowners can have the solar panels installed, the solar lease financed and the left-over portion of electricity supplied via interactions with a sole point of contact. David Field, CEO of OneRoof Energy stated that the energy business is becoming like the telecommunications business, in that, “when AT&T sells you services, they will try to sell you voice, data – you name it.  It’s bundled.” This is, in part, because consumers are able to shop and compare energy provider’s rates and offerings in the 17 deregulated markets. NRG Residential Solar Solutions recently announced a similar type of bundled product in New Jersey and the market should expect to see more of these partnerships throughout the region.

In deregulated energy markets, the average consumer switches electricity providers every three years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Because a solar lease typically lasts in excess of twenty years, the bundling approach gives electricity suppliers a new way to seamlessly diversify their product offerings with solar. Further, the bundling approach also provides consumers with long-term cost savings on their electricity bills and offers greater choice in what company provides their energy and their energy mix. This all leads to greater customer retention and value.

“This is an example of how progressive energy companies are putting the customer first, and giving them the choice and the savings they deserve and want,” said David Filed, president and CEO of OneRoof Energy. The technology-rich, solar leasing fulfillment platform is designed with ease of use in mind, allowing a broad spectrum of businesses to seamlessly sell solar. The new focus for retail energy companies is to create additional value for their customers by providing a platform for affordable renewable energy while at the same time leveraging a customer centric platform in order to increase their own sales opportunities.

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Related Services