Uber of Rooftop Solar? Yeloha?
The peer-to-peer sharing economy is simply a function of the marriage between GPS and smartphone technology. Got a car and are willing to give someone else a ride? Uber will direct you to people nearby who need a ride and are willing to pay for it. Airbnb does something similar. Got a room or house you want to rent? Tell the company about it and it will share that information with anyone who wants to visit your location.
Now solar startup Yeloha thinks it has found a way to apply this new, social media way of doing business to clean energy. Yeloha cofounder and CEO Amit Rosner says the problem is simple: access. “We found that 92% of the households in the country cannot go solar,” Rosner told Energy Business. “No matter their motivations, they just can’t do it. Either they don’t have the right roof or they don’t have the right credit.
“What the solar industry has done is focus on the small, addressable market of the very lucky people — people with homes, sunny roofs that face south, live in the right state, and are wealthy or have excellent credit. That’s a lot of requirements.” In other words, the industry is picking the low hanging fruit.
“From a business perspective, there’s a huge opportunity in making it so everyone can connect to solar,” Rosner says. Understanding what the hurdles were, Rosner set out to develop Yeloha. The company acts as a liaison between people who have solar-friendly roofs and people who want to buy the energy those roofs generate. A homeowner can join Yeloha as a Sun Host. The company will then install solar panels on his or her roof free of charge. The homeowner receives part of the energy the system generates at no cost to help lower the home’s monthly utility bill.