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  • A Truly Historic Moment in the USA

    I lived and worked on Solar in the USA for a third of my life. I co-founded a solar company that grew to be one of the largest installers in the country. I rode that solar coaster and experienced crazy highs and heartbreaking lows. I love the USA, I love the fact that OpenSolar serves so many heroic American installers, and I’m deeply passionate about American leadership in solar electrification. One of the things that’s always driven me crazy about the US market is the incredibly complex and various ways that solar permitting is done around the country. It’s slow and bureaucratic and drives up the soft costs to make solar in the US way more expensive per watt than any other market in the world. So I founded SolarAPP+ which has now been embraced by the US government and is starting to roll out to jurisdictions across the country. It completely streamlines the process by automating plan review, permit approval, and project tracking. It standardizes up to 90% of standard system plans. Along with my friends and teammates, I’ve poured my heart and soul into the American solar market, which is why today I can scarcely believe the new Inflation Reduction Act that President Biden just signed into law. It’s a truly historic moment, and the American solar electrification market is now set for massive growth and potential world leadership in the deployment of clean tech. Just look at some of the contents! The Solar ITC Increase The Solar Investment Tax Credit has been increased from 26% to 30%. The 30% applies to both business and residential projects, including projects installed in 2022, and will last until the end of 2032. Energy Storage Projects Now Eligible for Tax Credit Energy storage projects were previously ineligible for tax credits unless they were connected directly to solar power projects. The Inflation Reduction Act removes these requirements, and allows energy storage projects to receive the same 30% tax credit, even if they are stand-alone facilities. Batteries connected to a solar power project will continue to qualify for the credit. More Upcoming Tax Credits and Rebates That’s just the start - here’s what else: Tax credits for EV's: $7,500 Tax credits for used EV's: $4,000 Tax rebate for heat pump: $8,000 Tax rebate for heat pump water heater: $1,750 Tax rebate for heat pump clothes dryer: $840 Tax rebate for for electrical panel upgrade for new appliances: $4,000 For solar professionals already using OpenSolar, take a look at our help center article with instructions for how to adjust your settings in accordance with the new law here. What’s Next for the Industry? We can now see a fairly immediate future where solar professionals in the USA and around the world will become solar electrification professionals, helping homeowners and businesses fully electrify, ensuring that older, inefficient fossil fuel burning machines can be stripped out and replaced with electric versions. Our incredible finance partners will be there to help make these solutions affordable from day one. And OpenSolar will be there too. Of course, you can already give your proposals on OpenSolar a boost by updating your ITC incentive to 30%, and you can already create battery only proposals. But there’s a lot more OpenSolar functionality on its way that will enable solar professionals to truly harness the enormous economic growth opportunity that the Inflation Reduction Act represents. As an industry, we now have everything we need to electrify America - the government incentives and the tools like OpenSolar and SolarAPP+. Let’s truly make this historic moment count for our communities, for our families and for our one and only planet Earth. Have a sunny day. Yours truly, Birchy

  • Come meet our new features

    Welcome to OS 2.5.0 We’ve heard your feedback and are excited to share what we’ve built with your help. Saving time and minimizing mistakes while working on your projects just got a lot simpler on OpenSolar! You can now easily define default contracts per payment types, apply a different contract on a per system x payment option basis, automatically archive discontinued finance products from your OS account with a click of a button and stay compliant with the latest 2022 CA consumer protection guide (*for CA solar professionals only). We hope you enjoy these updates and are able to make use of them as best fits your business. Explore what your OpenSolar account can now do for you below! Save time (and worries!) by setting default contracts per payment type for your customers. Say goodbye to manually applying contracts on each proposal based on what payment type your customer is quoted - now OpenSolar will automatically apply the right contract to the proposals. Moreover, you can also apply a different contract on each system and payment option combination quoted to your customer. Please check our help center for a tour of this new feature. For Australia and the United States only. Finance providers' interest rates, fees, and terms are changing constantly in today’s market. Never miss a step and make sure all your proposals are presenting accurate, up-to-date and available finance products with our improved finance payment options refreshing functionality that auto-archives discontinued payment options from your OpenSolar account. To ensure you’re always selling current, accurate finance products, go to Control > Pricing & Payments > Payment Options and click ‘Refresh’ on the appropriate finance partner. In addition, consider checking out our help center for a tour of our bulk update functionality to ensure your existing projects are updated. *Action Required - for CA solar professionals only Stay compliant and minimize business operating risks by including the 2022 CA Consumer Protection Guide (CPG) in all of your appropriate CA contracts. Please watch this 20 second video to ensure you have selected the 2022 CA CPG. Other Enhancements There are a wide range of other improvements for your use, available now. See the full release notes for more information. As always, our focus is on your success. We’re very grateful for the feedback you provide, and I hope that you can see how much we listen to your needs, and constantly evolve our software to meet them. If you ever have any questions, please contact us at Have a sunny day, Gagan Product Manager, OpenSolar

  • June 2022 Integrated Finance Data

    Most solar customers are first-time solar customers, so the whole process of purchasing a solar system can be pretty scary. They’ve bought a car before, they’ve bought a house before, but they’re in uncharted water with solar, so you need to look for every opportunity to make the purchase experience as simple and easy as possible - OpenSolar’s integrated finance feature helps you do just that! Top Five States Same as last month, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, and California are topping the charts with the highest percentages of sales financed. Joining the ranks this month is New York, displacing New Jersey by a narrow margin. Most Popular Product Type - and selling in a rising rate/inflationary environment The 25 year 1.99% loan reigns supreme as the most popular product, but we’ve seen an increase in 25 year 2.99% loans. This is no surprise as solar loan fees increase in line with interest rates across the economy. Homeowners have eyes and ears and know that interest rates are increasing everywhere, so a customer who may have been skeptical of a 2.99% rate 3 months ago is likely to be much more accepting today. This is even more true given continued high levels of inflation. With energy prices increasing 20% year-over-year, the opportunity to save your customer money is even greater, even with a higher interest rate loan. One thing to keep in mind is that interest rate increases have a bigger effect on longer loan terms: Increasing the interest rate from 1.99% to 2.99% increases the monthly payment on a 25 year loan by about 11.9% - on a 20 year loan it increases by 9.6% and on a 10 year loan by only 4.9%. Finance vs Non-Financed System Prices Once again, we saw significantly higher ticket sizes for financed projects. As more and more projects include storage or other secondary products, ticket sizes go up, and having an easy financing solution at your disposal will allow your customer to make the investment more easily. Credit Application to Decision As always, we saw customers move very quickly through the finance approval process on OpenSolar. In June, it took an average of only 6 minutes and 1 second to complete a solar credit application and an average of only 47 seconds for one of our finance partners to make a decision once the customer hit “Submit”. Less than 7 minutes to go from “Yeah, let’s do this!” to having a firm financing approval in hand. Summary Even as interest rates, finance continues to be a great tool to enable homeowners to say “yes” to solar, and OpenSolar’s integrated finance offerings make it as easy as possible for you to quote and close financing by keeping your rates and fees up to date on the back end and providing a simple, streamlined and intuitive application experience for your customer, embedded right in your proposal. We’ll run the numbers each month and bring you insights on what we’re seeing. If your solar business is on OpenSolar, then we’re psyched to support you! But if you’re not yet using the integrated finance feature, we urge you to consider it as the next step of your journey on our platform. It’s delivering substantial benefits to those who are. Happy selling! Joe Abel Head of Product

  • Serving up success with larger solar installers

    It’s mid-July and that means you’re making calls, knocking on doors, filling your calendar, and trying to get as much solar sold and installed by the end of the year as possible. With this rush, you need to cut costs and save time on the backend so you can prioritize sales. I’ve been in the industry for 12 years myself, so I get it. You don’t have any time to waste, so let’s move towards a more streamlined process together. How we can help The industry's larger pros are starting to move to OpenSolar because of our free model and our leading accuracy and support. Trying to migrate your workflows and tech stacks can be daunting, especially in the busy season, but my team and I are here to help. With decades of experience, we understand your day-to-day and what it takes to succeed in this industry. Since its inception in the “golden era” of solar 10+ years ago, remote solar design and virtual selling have been part of our leadership's foundational DNA. With OpenSolar’s Open API, we can support you in integrating your existing tech stack with OpenSolar’s end-to-end software to eliminate redundancy and gain efficiency. Solar contractors are the heartbeat of the solar industry. Whether you have an offshore design team or sales ninjas that design live on the phone with the homeowner, OpenSolar can provision your account to meet your custom needs. Our finance company API integrations–featuring the largest number of integrated finance partners–provide a seamless and fast application and approval process. In fact, OpenSolar Pros and their customers are averaging just under 7 minutes to receive credit approval all from within the online proposal. Getting started on OpenSolar To get your team onboarded, we start with a preliminary scoping session to better understand your business, plus a demo of OpenSolar. During this call, I begin to customize your integration to fit your company’s workflow from lead all the way through PTO, all while eliminating redundancies and overhead. The OpenSolar mission As we gain more and more market share and our dynamic business model continues to prove itself month over month and quarter after quarter, we are committed to enhancing the platform to suit the needs of ALL types of solar companies: EPC’s, solar orgs, vertically-integrated, whatever model you are, we got you. We are here to revolutionize and democratize how solar design and selling is done. Let us open the door for your company to provide more accurate designs, experience drastic efficiency gains, and ultimately, achieve higher profit margins.

  • Is OpenSolar Really Free?!

    This is the question that we get asked the most at OpenSolar. Many of you wonder whether we will suddenly start charging you after you have embedded OpenSolar’s tech into your company’s operations. That would be awful. A core value of OpenSolar is to be Open and Honest, and we can candidly say that we won’t do that. We pride ourselves as a free of charge platform that will always be free for you to use. Our theory is that the solar installer shouldn’t have to pay for premium quality solar software, and instead that there are a number of terrific organisations whose interests are served if they fund the OpenSolar platform. OpenSolar works with partners who all pay us to be a part of the platform, making OpenSolar free for solar professionals. Our partners include product manufacturers, finance companies, distributors, solar permitting companies, education providers, and many more - all of whom provide services to Solar Pros. That’s how OpenSolar remains completely free of charge. You can choose to pay for some additional services from our partners on the platform, like HD premium imagery bundles for example. These are optional extras that may help further customise your workflow in addition to the free functionality that OpenSolar provides. It is entirely up to you whether you opt in for these additional services or stick with free for everything. Another important point that I would like to clarify is the way we treat your data. Your individual data will not be shared with anyone; our data policies adhere to the most stringent policies in the world, including the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Instead, we provide insights on trends in the market as a whole, but we never share any data at your business level or your customer details. If you have any questions or concerns, by all means, feel free to get in touch on If you would like to learn more about partnering with OpenSolar, please contact us at

  • Finance on OpenSolar - May '22 Insights

    Now that five of the top US Solar Finance Companies are fully integrated on OpenSolar, we are starting to see some fascinating developments as more and more solar professionals are using the integrated finance feature. Top Five States High rates of solar finance uptake are a sign of a mature residential solar market, so it wasn’t surprising to see California, New Jersey, Florida and Texas on the list. It was a bit of a surprise to see Oklahoma near the top of the list, too, with Missouri knocking on the door of the top 5. It’s exciting to see these emerging markets really mature and leverage solar finance to help expand the market! Most Popular Product Type - and selling in a rising rate/inflationary environment In May 2022, the most popular product type was a 1.99% 25 year loan, so customers are gravitating towards the longest loan terms but not necessarily the very lowest rates. This is great to know as interest rates continue to increase (the fed announced a 0.75% rate increase last week and signaled that rates would continue to rise aggressively for much of the rest of the year). I’d expect most solar lenders to continue to increase rates in line with the market throughout the year. Your customers watch the news, too, and understand that borrowing is getting more expensive, and they are unlikely to expect a 0% or 0.99% APR solar loan. And, keep in mind that electricity prices are rising even faster than other prices (they were 16.2% higher in May 2022 than May 2021!), so there’s a bit more room to accommodate a higher solar loan payment and still save your customer real money. That’s just the dollars and cents. Our hunch is that people are increasingly aware, given world events, of the fundamental need for energy independence both nationwide and at the household level. Finance vs Non-Financed System Prices The average system price of a financed system was substantially higher than that of a non-financed system - $42,243 vs $34,177. This is partially a reflection of dealer fees, but it also reflects the fact that solar finance allows homeowners the flexibility to opt for bigger systems with storage that better prepares them for the future. It’s also nice to see higher revenues going through the books of Solar Installer businesses! Credit Application to Decision Perhaps my favorite insight that we saw in May 2022 was the sheer speed with which solar pros using the integrated finance feature on OpenSolar are able to help customers get approved for financing and seal the deal, directly from the proposal! Completion of a solar credit application on average took only 6 minutes and 4 seconds, and the average speed for a decision from one of our finance partners was only 48 seconds from the time the customer hit “Submit”. The technologies used by our partners, when combined with OpenSolar’s proposal, are making it super easy for the homeowner and solar pro alike to proceed with projects. We’ll run the numbers each month and bring you insights on what we’re seeing. If your solar business is on OpenSolar, then we’re psyched to support you! But if you’re not yet using the integrated finance feature, we urge you to consider it as the next step of your journey on our platform. It’s delivering substantial benefits to those who are.

  • What’s This? Has Birchy Gone Numbers Crazy?

    Today it feels that way, because in the three years since our inception and launch, we just reached the 100,000th sale achieved by solar professionals on our platform. From the very beginning of our company we’ve believed that class-leading, white labeled design and proposal software should be 100% free to the solar installer, so that their businesses can grow unimpeded. So you can imagine what this milestone means to Adam and I, and everyone at OpenSolar. That’s not the only milestone we just reached either. Collectively, solar installers on our platform have just exceeded an annual run rate of $1 billion in sales! That’s 1000’s of solar pros in 120+ countries hammering out accurate designs and beautiful, interactive customer proposals, many of them running their businesses on OpenSolar. A lot of our crew have worked in solar sales and operations (207 years of combined solar experience and counting), and we feel grateful and more than a bit starstruck when we serve these solar heroes every day. Thanks a million to solar professionals around the world, and a special thanks to our partners, all of the suppliers, manufacturers, permit providers and finance companies who allow us to support solar professionals everywhere with no licensing or subscription fees, no per design fees, no seat limits, no design caps, and no contracts. I’m known by some folks as “Uncle Numbers”, affectionately I like to think. And so I’ll be back with more beautiful numbers soon!

  • The Segen journey is only the start of a great adventure

    The feeling of today is the same as reaching the top of a high mountain after a long hike: today the Segen / OpenSolar integration is finally live. The initial point has always been clear: offer Pros the possibility to harness OpenSolar’s capabilities, now coupled with intelligent equipment matching and stock availability from Segen, their supplier of choice. The first installers we introduced it to were captivated by OpenSolar and the beautiful proposals they could generate, combined with the immense value of having their Segen account connected through API on OpenSolar. Seeing their pricing, monitoring all their customers’ journeys, and sending the quotes to Segen automatically on the same platform was just what they were looking for. We started with this in mind but then added a bunch of amazing features to accommodate additional requests from UK solar installers. For example, MCS requirements, panel/inverter improved functionality, the additional components to add on the quotes… and so much more! We worked on a day (and night!) basis to get this shiny new product to market. During the journey, it was incredible to see how all the people cooperated to shape the best user experience. Time for shout outs! Thanks to: the Segen team with continuous and caring engagement with the project the account managers with the promotion to their installers the Segen development team and the MadPandas (amazing devs!) for aligning with Adam Pryor and his development team in Australia the solar pros with their weekly feedback sessions and their feature requests the manufacturers who dedicated their teams to understand the best possible cooperation up to the point of integrating their technical softwares and, of course my beautiful colleagues, the OpenSolar teams from all over the world that were so dedicated to the project. We could not have arrived at this point without this team effort. Working with Segen also gave me so much confidence in a world where female leaders like Liz MacFarlane are leading the change. It made me feel like “I wanna be there one day!” I am very satisfied with tackling a market need that is a win-win for manufacturers, installers, and customers. I’m confident that UK solar installers will appreciate the technological, dynamic, and professional proposal. Being able to convert their leads into customers is invaluable to installers. Hence, the adoption of OpenSolar in the UK has been very high during the last months. Thinking about it, it is an honor to see that Segen, the biggest distributor in the UK, chose OpenSolar to lead the technological revolution of their software capability and it's a privilege to know that this is only the start of the adventure.

  • Sustainable Solutions to Climate Anxiety

    Cate Blanchett and I made the Audible original podcast "Climate of Change" to bring people a little hope in the face of the climate crisis. We know from brain science studies that the climate communications "stream" that we get in our social media and mainstream press literally shuts down people's neocortex or frontal brain. When humans are faced with an overwhelming threat, their reptilian brains and limbic systems kick into action. These bits of the brain control our fight or flight response and can throw us into panic. In order to respond to climate change, we need to tap into the creative parts of our brains. All of the messaging about doom and destruction is disabling our creative minds and keeping us paralyzed. With that being said, we humans are poorly-built to deal with the slow burn of this climate emergency. What we know about communications and taking action in the face of an existential threat is that a steady, empowering message instills a desire and ability to act even more than scaring people with a problem. Which is why I am such a big fan of OpenSolar. It makes the benefits of going solar easy to access - for contractors and customers alike - and makes it easy for them to take action as part of this solution strategy. As the climate crisis grows - and sadly it will - the average householder will be looking for things to do to avert this problem and take collective action. Leaning into solar as a climate solution is some of the best sales and marketing work a contractor can do. OpenSolar's platform makes it easy to do that by offering the tools and resources installers need to do their part to solve the climate crisis. Shine on!

  • Only Solar for Company

    Solar energy can take us places we’ve never imagined we’d go, even beyond the very limits of the human body. This challenge appealed to a USC Rowing Alumna Brooke Downes as she trained for a spot on the Olympic Women’s rowing team. Brooke is a childhood friend of mine. We played on the same travel volleyball team before rowing became her only love and have been friends ever since. Ever since I’ve known her, she’s always looked for a challenge and exceeded all expectations. It comes as no surprise that she and her three teammates will embark on a race against time, the tides, and their own minds as they row 2,700 nautical miles across the pacific ocean this summer. In their 29-ft boat, American Spirit, the Lat35 Racing team will embark on this month-long journey with the sun and the currents as their only companions. The current women’s world record to get from San Francisco to Waikiki is 35 days, 14 hours, and 23 minutes, but this team hopes to break that. Without solar energy, this row would not be possible; having solar panels powering the boat is a requirement to participate in the race. All of their tech is powered by the solar panels that line the exterior of the boat: navigation, communications, and even charging ports for their handheld tech. The sun is their primary source of energy but also a source of hardship as they compete in this off-year run of the Great Pacific Race. The boat is built for efficiency, so it offers little protection from the elements. Severe sunburn is one of many very real and dangerous possibilities that they will have to combat. In its absence, the athletes will often find themselves rowing in complete, freezing darkness. Their team of four will row in 2-hour shifts for the entire month, only anchoring in the face of a life-threatening storm. This means that in addition to battling the elements, they will also be facing sleep deprivation. These athletes train for hours a day for endurance and strength, but equally as important is their technical training: knowing how to tie life-saving knots, operating navigational equipment, knowing how to drop the para-anchor in case of a major storm, and being able to make repairs to any failing equipment. This race will be powered purely by the sun and the human spirit. An adventure like this is yet another example of how with solar and some grit, humans can do anything. Brooke and her teammates aim to hit the water between June 19th and June 23rd depending on the winds, tides, and moon. You can follow along for the most up-to-date information on this squad on Instagram @Lat35Racing.

  • Your Solar Platform Just Got Even Better

    Welcome to OS 2.3.0 With your feedback at the front of our minds, we have cultivated another jam-packed product release for you. We prioritize making the updates you need as you need them so that you can go back to doing what you do best: selling. This latest release has a ton of highly-anticipated features that will even further enhance your production and workflow. We have updated a number of features to be more accurate, more efficient, and more customizable. Now you can spend less time on the back end thanks to our new Bill of Materials (BOM) Generation and better customize and speed up your workflows with the following improvements to Proposals and Contracts, Pricing Engine, and VAT Calculations (UK) - just to name a few. Below we have outlined some of the specifics surrounding the key features from this update. Bill of Materials (BOM)* Save time and generate an accurate BOM with auto-populated hardware components, quantities, and costs for every job. Make use of this new feature to speed up your ordering and fulfillment process post-sale and get properly spec’d projects on roofs faster. Download the BOM as a PDF or CSV so that you can easily send it to your preferred supplier, distributor or even share internally with your project team. Please check our help center for a tour of this new feature. *Currently available in the US, AU, and NZ. Additional GEOs coming soon. Proposal & Contract Enhancements Now you can easily generate a proposal PDF and/or contract and automatically send customer emails with your project-specific documents attached when your customer accepts your proposal. Want to send the accepted proposal PDF separate from the contract? Want to send them combined as one? Want a nice branded, custom email to land in your customers inbox when they sign? You decide what’s best for your business and your customers. Please check our help center for a tour of proposal PDF and contract generation updates and automated customer emails with attached docs. Pricing Engine Enhancements Build even more accurate costing, pricing and financial models now with detailed pricing for components, CSV import/export, custom cost line items, and auto-default system life simulations. Detailed pricing for components opens the door to improved cost and price schemes such as Price per watt by size (kW), Price per panel, Cost of Goods Solar (COGS) per unit pricing, just to name a few. The CSV import/export functionality will allow you to easily download, update, and re-upload your pricing and costing settings and save precious admin time. Automatically sync your proposal and financial model’s system life to the maximum module product warranty of your select system option (i.e. 25 years). Please check our help center for a tour of detailed pricing for components, CSV import/export, and auto-default system life simulations. Stripe Integration SCA Compliance* Confidently process payments for your customers in Europe and UK knowing that the Stripe on OpenSolar integration now supports the Strong Customer Authentication (SCE) rule compliance. Ensuring your customers are protected and your business is using fully-compliant systems to help them go solar is key to building trust and long-term happy customers. Please check our help center for a tour of this integration update (scroll down to Step 11). *For Europe and UK customers or solar professionals Updated VAT Calculations* Available now, you can customize and automate your Value Added Tax (VAT) calculations to reflect the recently updated regulations (0% VAT for applicable systems). Once you’ve enabled this, your pricing schemes for a specific project in the UK will automatically determine the tax based on the components that are added to your system. Given the recent update, this will be 0% VAT for any systems that include Energy Savings Materials (ESMs) such as solar panels. Please check our help center for a tour of enabling the updated and automated VAT calculations. *Important for UK solar professionals only Other Enhancements There are a wide range of other improvements for your use, available now. See the full release notes for more information. As always, our focus is on your success. We’re very grateful for the feedback you provide, and I hope that you can see how much we listen to your needs, and constantly evolve our software to meet them. If you ever have any questions, please contact us at Have a sunny day, Rick Rick Pentella Product Marketing Manager, OpenSolar View Full Release Notes

  • I Won’t be the Guy That Didn’t Try

    Like many human beings I read the news around the latest IPCC report with horror and great sadness. The findings in the report show that climate breakdown is happening faster than expected and that the window to take action is closing fast. It generated some alarm here and there, and a few big proclamations from some global leaders. But here’s the deal - we’re not going to make it. We’re past the point of no return and we won’t escape unscathed. If current world events tell us anything, it’s that our addiction to fossil fuels runs so deep that we’re prepared to fund a tyrant’s war machine so that he can commit war crimes in Ukraine. Indeed, since the Russian invasion started, there have been calls to increase fossil fuel production. So at a time when virtually no sane mind denies climate change and its human-caused effects, the first instinct of many people is to source and burn more hydrocarbons, as opposed to double down on the creation of a clean, resilient and secure energy system using existing technology. That’s where we’re at, and there’s no denying it. I’ve been in clean tech for 12 years both for profit and not for profit. In that time, I’ve seen countless people say no. I’ve seen foundations say no to funding microgrids to help people out of energy poverty. I’ve seen homeowners say no because their particular roof meant their solar costs would be the same as what they’re paying now. I’ve seen former colleagues from silicon valley refuse to engage, despite the fact that their immense intellects and resources could be a gamechanger for the planet. But to quote one of the people I admire most in this world, Alec Guettel, I won’t be the guy that didn’t try. I still believe that we can be carbon neutral in our lifetime, and I’m going to commit the rest of my life to that outcome. We all have to decide what we’re going to do, and no, taking out the recycling once a week is not enough. Personally I will channel my energy into Empowered by Light and into OpenSolar. Both organizations are based on the firm belief that when you give people the tools to power their lives and their customers’ lives with sunshine, when you make it easy for people to live low carbon lives, they’ll not only do it, but they’ll be energized and spread the word. I owe it to my beautiful family to try. I owe it to the earth that gave me life. We all do.

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