One of the major hurdles still facing solar is the lengthy, often difficult, purchasing process. Customers will sometimes give up on going solar just because of the many options being offered and the complexity of determining what is right for them. As a result, solar companies are looking for ways to streamline this process.
Sunrun has gone about this with its BrightPath software, which was made possible thanks to a $1.6 million cooperative agreement with the SunShot Initiative. The software is the industry’s first end-to-end automated platform designed to manage home solar projects from lead to sale.
Now, Sunrun is taking this technology a step further. It has unveiled the new BrightPath Station, an interactive, multi-touch kiosk. The kiosk enables consumers to pinpoint their home on a map and within minutes assess if they are suited for solar — and even get a quote. The station brings Sunrun’s BrightPath software to consumers in select retail environments for the first time.
The BrightPath software uses cloud computing to take customers through the entire home solar process, from selecting hardware and system design to pricing, scheduling, permitting, and installation.
“Sunrun views retail stores as a promising opportunity to increase solar adoption by consumers,” said Gary Wayne, vice president of strategic projects at Sunrun. “The Sunrun brightpath station enables consumers to learn more about solar as a service in a highly engaging environment and receive an accurate proposal customized for their home. Sunrun was built upon a diversified approach to selling solar, and our station and retail experience together is another example of how we are meeting consumers where they feel comfortable shopping while lowering the cost of going solar.”
By answering a few simple questions, consumers can use the BrightPath station to understand their energy needs, and receive multiple home solar system design options that provide optimal energy production, and savings. Sunrun has already deployed the station in several retail locations across California, Hawaii, and New York. The stations have generated enough consumer interest that the company plans to introduce the station to additional locations in 2015.
By simplifying the purchasing process in a retail environment, Sunrun hopes to attract new customers who would otherwise never consider going solar. If all goes as planned, this could be another step to bringing solar into the mainstream.