Founded in November of 2020 by private equity firm Northern Pacific Group, Pineapple Energy is a residential solar installer across at least six U.S. states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Hawaii. The company was founded on a unique “battery-first” business model and offers residential battery storage and solar power systems for a broad customer base.
The company was founded on a unique “battery-first” business model and offers residential battery storage and solar power systems for a broad customer base.
Additionally, Pineapple Energy was also founded to acquire and grow local solar companies throughout the nation, with Hawaii Energy Connection being one of its most recent acquisitions.
Pineapple Energy advertises a “broad selection of [solar] hardware from leading manufacturers.” Per data gathered from other solar companies owned by Northern Pacific Group like Sungevity, we can infer that these manufacturers include industry leaders like LG, Tesla, SolarEdge, and Enphase. Customers can be assured that they will be receiving a quality solar panel system that is built to last.
With the top-of-the-line solar equipment comes Pineapple Energy’s robust system warranties. These include the 20-year workmanship or labor warranty, which protects the system against installation errors or other technician-related damage and associated maintenance visits, as well as a 20-year manufacturer’s or equipment warranty, which protects against damaged or defective system components, i.e. solar panels, solar inverters, or solar batteries.
Pineapple Energy brings a full suite of payment options to the table to help customers of nearly all energy needs and budgets save on their utility bill and make the switch to solar. These include direct purchase, solar loans, solar leases, and power purchase agreement (PPA).
Although Pineapple Energy appears to possess all the qualities of a reputable solar panel installer, the company’s corporate footprint does give pause for concern.
First, Pineapple Energy is owned by private equity firm Northern Pacific Group, which acquired numerous U.S. assets from now defunct solar company Sungevity back in 2017. Sungevity was the subject of numerous rises and falls since its founding in 2007, including repeated layoffs, bankruptcy filings, rebrandings, mergers and acquisitions, and a wake of unfinished residential solar projects.
Sungevity officially closed its doors in November of 2020 — the same month Pineapple Energy was founded — and sold the majority of its assets (including Horizon Solar Power) to Pineapple Energy, a move that might reasonably be seen as the recycling of, rather than an improvement upon, said assets.
That isn’t to say that Pineapple Energy is Sungevity; if anything, the opposite is true. Due to liability reasons, Pineapple Energy is unable to perform maintenance or repair on systems installed by Sungevity. Instead customers are encouraged to contact local installers or the manufacturers themselves for help.
Second, though Pineapple Energy claims to have been founded in November 2020, the company was not officially incorporated until March 2021 as what’s known as a foreign limited liability company. This means while Pineapple Energy was incorporated in its home state of Minnesota, it conducts business in other states.
This is no guarantee that Pineapple, like its de facto predecessor Sungevity, subcontracts all of its installation work (likely driving up the price of residential solar); but the fact that the company has marketed itself as an accelerator of sorts for “local and regional solar, storage, and energy services companies nationwide,” strongly suggests this implication is true.
The act of subcontracting work to authorized dealers is in no way uncommon in solar or other industries; industry leader SunPower has found great success in providing tools and training to local installers and counting them as authorized members of the SunPower family.
However, few companies match the level of training and standards of SunPower in this regard. Consequently, customers who obtain a quote through Pineapple Energy may receive a system from an entirely different company, with no assurance of advertised quality.
Carl M. Pileri San Mateo, CA
1 year ago
Reply from Pineapple Energy
Jun. 22nd, 2021