2015: Goal #1 - Solar Growth (Rapid!)
We launched our solar business at PowerUP! in September 2013 with much fanfare. It was our first product expansion outside of the deregulated energy markets. We announced our partnership with SolarCity, the leader in the U.S. solar markets, and were very fortunate to have several members of their executive team on hand to promote it including Lyndon Rive (Founder & CEO) and Hayes Barnard (Chief Revenue Officer). Very exciting times.
For me, the best part was being part of the team that launched the solar business internally. It reminded me of the early days of Viridian as it fueled the entrepreneurial spirit in my blood and reminded me how much I really enjoy the climb (no matter how steep it may be).
The reward was great as our solar business was a tremendous success by any metric. We saw tremendous growth in the year, as we sold 18.3MW of residential solar in 2014. We saw associates benefit from the growth, as we paid out more than $570,165 in upfront commissions related to solar customer growth.
While the growth was great, I believe the best is ahead for solar. Market experts are predicting rapid growth over the next few years, with total installed capacity forecasted to reach almost 12 GWs in 2016, up nearly 100% over 2014.
My goal is that we capture as much of that growth as possible. I want all of us to benefit from this significant market opportunity ahead in the solar industry. This is a gold rush (or maybe a green rush) and I believe we are the pioneers who see the opportunity and have the tools to win. Think about it, our mission is to make green energy affordable. Solar energy delivers our mission in spades. Plus we have a year head start on the market in understanding the sales process and our friends and family model is perfect for helping customers make the choice (by helping them understand the benefits and dispelling the myths).
To facilitate that growth and as announced at Leadership Retreat 2015, we made some significant enhancements to our compensation plan to drive solar. First, we materially enhanced upfront compensation. We are permanently paying for leads and added more upfront compensation on closed sales. Second, we maintained our commitment to a 20 year residual (a staple of the Viridian compensation plan). We think both of these changes make our compensation the best in the solar industry, network marketing or otherwise. We believe this will allow us to truly diversify in our existing deregulated energy markets and grow in solar only markets with tremendous success—like California, Arizona and Oregon. There are truly no excuses!
2015 is the year of solar. I’m in, are you?