- Vivint Solar is planning 20 new sales and operations offices across the U.S. in 2015 as it steps up the aggressive customer acquisition efforts that made it second in the country in residential solar installations.
- Vivint will first open in the U.S.-leading California market and then move to other states where third party ownership (TPO) of solar is legal.
- Vivint Solar won an approximately 15% share of 2014's residential solar market. It doubled its market share this year but remained second to SolarCity, which has a 36% share of what Solar Energy Industries Association President Rhone Resch said is likely to be a 3.5 gigawatt cumulative capacity for the year.
Vivint Solar, a unit of home alarm/energy management system giant Vivint, completed an IPO in October. It is following the Utah-based Vivint’s 15-year-old business model by employing college students in door-to-door commission selling. About half its sales force has the difficult-to-discourage Mormon missionary training.
Vivint Solar has installed over 130 megawatts of solar at more than 22,000 homes. Its primary module suppliers are Trina Solar, Yingli Solar, and Canadian Solar, three of the top five U.S residential solar suppliers.
Vivint will look to expand first in the 22 states (plus D.C.) that allow third party ownership of rooftop solar systems. TPO allows equity funds to own rooftop solar systems and lease them to roof owners. The funder gets the 30% federal investment tax credit and accelerated depreciation. The roof owner gets a reduced electricity bill with no upfront cost or ownership responsibilities.
Vivint Solar set its IPO share price at $16 and offered 20.6 million shares for a market cap of more than $1.5 billion. The share price subsequently dropped to below $8, resulting in a class action lawsuit brought by IPO participants.
SolarCity went public in December 2012 at $8 per share, raised $92 million, and now has a market cap of $5.67 billion.