Residential solar installer OneRoof Energy recently attracted an investment from a subsidiary of global energy company GDF SUEZ. The purchase of a minority stake in OneRoof will allow the company to expand into new markets, particularly on the East Coast, where GDF SUEZ Energy North America (GSENA) operates in deregulated markets as an energy retailer.
“We are thrilled to welcome GSENA as an investor in OneRoof Energy,” said David Field, the company's. “GSENA's leadership in deregulated energy markets will help drive our strategy forward and support us as we enter into new markets.”
GSENA has also agreed to explore the development of new products and customer acquisition strategies, according to a spokesperson at OneRoof. With the possible addition of GSENA as a joint marketing participant, OneRoof anticipates offering its SolarSelect lease to thousands of additional homeowners across the country, enabling them to embrace solar energy as a viable alternative to rising electricity bills.
GSENA has more than 13 gigawatts of energy generation throughout North America - mostly natural gas and renewable energy - including wind, solar, biomass and hydro. The company also serves as a retail energy provider under its GDF SUEZ Energy Resources and Think Energy units, which serve Delaware, Texas, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Connecticut, Ohio, and Washington, D.C.
Since OneRoof currently operates in Arizona, California and Hawaii, the markets that GSENA operates in will likely allow for expansion. OneRoof stated that GSENA was interested in investing because of its scalable business model. GSENA’s background in the energy industry will help OneRoof Energy provide its simple solar financing options to more in the U.S.
OneRoof is just the latest residential third-party ownership company to start drawing attention from investors and other companies. Last year, for example, SolarCity—currently the nation’s largest residential solar installer—went public. And NRG Energy, another energy company that operates in deregulated markets, started offering residential solar as a third-party service earlier this year. Both demonstrate how the solar market is changing and attracting new players, particularly as residential solar grows in popularity. As if this isn'q quite convincing enough, one of the fastest growing residential third-party ownership companies, Vivint Solar, just entered the market in 2011 and is now the second-largest residential solar installer in the U.S.