When Solstice co-founder and CEO Steph Speirs was working for the Obama White House in Yemen, she would look out the windows of armored SUVs and see thousands of Yemenis waiting in line for fuel. She saw that affordable clean energy access should be a human right, yet the global economy’s addiction to oil left ordinary citizens without the power they needed. Steph left her job determined to work to deploy renewable energy and bring clean, distributed, and democratized energy to the people who needed it the most. After stints in India and Pakistan selling renewable energy to off-grid communities, Steph and her co-founders Steve Moilanen and Sandhya Murali realized that most people back home in America were still locked out of the clean energy market as well. They co-founded Solstice with the objective of putting affordable solar in the hands of every American, regardless of their income or the roof they possessed.
Solar is booming and the technology is cheaper than ever, yet 80% of Americans are effectively locked out of the solar market. These households include those who rent their homes, own a condo, have inadequate credit, or possess a non-optimal roof. Solstice deploys “community solar”, which enables households to subscribe to a shared solar “garden” in their neighborhood. Participants immediately begin saving 10% on their monthly utility bills and there is no cost to join.
Many solar developers lack the capacity to find and manage thousands of customers at a time, but their community solar projects cannot get financed until they aggregate demand. That’s where Solstice comes in. Solstice’s digital platform is a turnkey customer solution handling every stage of the customer journey –enrollment, underwriting, acquisition, billing, management, and service.
What makes them special?
Solstice is the only company that employs both community organizing and a digital technology to acquire and manage customers, which allows them to offer their services at low cost, at scale, and with superior customer experience. While other companies focus on either lead generation or software development, Solstice handles every stage of the customer journey, from enrollment to ongoing management.
Solstice has also invented the EnergyScore, a new, proprietary underwriting standard for solar customers that is more accurate in predicting who will pay their utility bill and more inclusive of low-income Americans than FICO credit scores (the industry standard).