Written by Sarah HancockSarah Hancock is passionate about green living and sustainability. She frequently writes about renewable energy and manages the Solar blog at BestCompany.com.
Founded in 2007 by Danny Kennedy, Andrew Birch, and Alec Guettel, Sungevity was a solar company originally based in Oakland, California. Sungevity set itself apart in the solar industry by developing and utilizing a proprietary remote solar design tool, iQuote, which could provide home and business owners with price quotes and system design options without having to send an employee to visit the home. By 2014, the company had raised $70 million in equity from investors, and in 2016, Sungevity was acquired by private equity firm Easterly Acquisition. At that time, Sungevity was the fifth largest U.S. rooftop solar company in terms of market share.
At the beginning of 2017, the company laid off senior and mid-level managers, as well as the majority of its staff, without notice. Shortly after, Sungevity filed for a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which is intended primarily for the reorganization of businesses with heavy debt burdens in an effort to become profitable. The remainder of the company was sold to private equity firm Northern Pacific Group for $50 million, and the firm’s newly created company, Solar Spectrum, acquired Sungevity’s infrastructure, technology, installer network, supplier warranties, and certain agreements.
In August 2017, Northern Pacific Group acquired majority stake in Southern California solar installer Horizon Solar Power with a plan to eventually have both companies (Solar Spectrum and Horizon Solar Power) operating as separate legal entities under the umbrella of the Sungevity brand. The merger of Solar Spectrum and Horizon Solar Power resulted in the company becoming the second largest provider of residential solar systems in California and the fourth largest in the country.
In April 2018, the Sungevity rebrand was made official, and Solar Spectrum and Horizon Solar Power began working together under the Sungevity brand to enhance growth. Although some have been skeptical about the company’s choice to resurrect the Sungevity name after the bankruptcy, there’s no arguing that Sungevity is one of the most recognizable brands in the solar industry, and the firm’s leadership team is hopeful that the positive impact the company made during its 10-year run will outweigh its more recent history.
Today, commercial solar services are available directly through Sungevity, while both residential and commercial solar services are available through Solar Spectrum and Horizon Solar Power under the Sungevity umbrella.