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  • The Stranglehold of Fossil Fuel

    The images of pain and loss in Ukraine are horrifying. Putin, a cornered rat of a man, dishing out misery and death upon innocent human beings trying to live their lives. For what reason? For his ego alone. What's equally heartbreaking for me watching the sheer scale of armoury on the news is the realisation that we’re the ones paying for his guns. For most Europeans, when you switch your lights on, drive your car, heat your home, you are funding Putin's war machine. Last year Europeans took $100bn of their hard earned money and gave it to Putin to build out his army, in exchange for his oil and gas. As since the tanks rolled in, the price went up, and so the rat gets even more fat. By my maths we’re now buying over half a billion dollars of Russian gas and oil every day. We have to get off oil and gas. Has anything ever been more obvious? We’re collapsing our environment, overpaying for energy, and funding the worst regimes on the planet. We have to do this at full 100% scale and accelerate solar right now. Over the next two decades we can 100% electrify our homes and cars and power them with solar and a bit of wind. It’s the lowest cost, cleanest and now - more evidently than ever - the safest way to power our lives. And it isn’t going to be done by the oil majors or the politicians. Existing technologies will delivered by solar professionals educating customers, to help them make rational decisions. Simple. We simply need to scale up what we’re doing, leveraging the best talent in the energy sector (and the most accurate and fastest design and sales software!) to profitably grow and deliver that global impact from the ground up, one roof at a time. Big love going out to the people of Ukraine and all my fellow solar entrepreneurs helping the transition to an electric world powered by sunshine. Let's make it happen! Fight autocracy with democracy. Fight centralised power with distributed power. Fight oil and gas with solar and wind. Fight complacency with action.

  • Welcome to OS 2.2.0

    Meet our latest features! We’ve heard your feedback and are excited to share what we’ve built with your help. Using OpenSolar just got even easier— manage your projects and teams more efficiently with custom Roles and Permissions, boost sales with detailed Shade Reports , speed up your proposal pricing with the Adders Library, and accurately model your energy storage solutions with enhanced custom Battery Modeling, and more. 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! Manage your projects and workflows easily with custom roles, teams, and collaboration tools. With this new functionality, you can assign predefined or custom roles to each team member and provide separate access permissions. Six new, predefined roles have been created (e.g. Sales Manager, Contractor, Designer) which allow you to have more control over the specific permissions each role has. Now OpenSolar is even more configurable around your workflow. You can provide different team members different abilities to view, edit or delete information. You can also improve communication between roles by tagging others on notes and activities on your projects. Our personal favorite is the ability to create a ‘fetchable’ Design Request queue (among many others) to facilitate collaboration between Designers and Salespeople, and convert leads into proposals quickly. Please check our help center for a tour of this new feature. You can now generate a detailed PDF report on shading impacts to your system designs to help you sell clean deals and minimize costly change orders. This report includes useful site assessment details, as well as an easy-to-understand breakdown of shading impacts on each module panel group, with beautiful graphics and critical metrics such as Sun Access, Tilt Orientation Factor (TOF) and Total Solar Resource Fraction (TSRF). Please check our help center for a tour of this new feature. Simplify your proposal pricing with your own custom adders library (by cost, price, or both) that can be manually selected while designing a system or auto-applied to your system. You can set your own auto-apply conditions to the Adders that best satisfy the system or project conditions of your choosing such as system size, project sector (residential/commercial), project location, etc. - with just a click of a button. Please check our help center for a tour of this new feature. Capture additional savings and benefits from your battery proposals accurately. Build your own custom battery control logic so you can model exactly how the proposed battery solution you install will behave. This includes the ability to model when a battery can discharge to the grid or load, when it can charge from solar or the grid, as well as the maximum rate the battery can charge at, and the minimum state-of-charge the battery must maintain at any given time. This will be especially useful for modeling battery behavior when a customer joins a Virtual Power Plant (VPP), or if they install a device to control the battery dispatch to achieve maximum savings. Please check our help center for a tour of this new feature. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is proposing to update their Net Energy Metering policy in 2022, commonly referred to as NEM 3.0. As such, OpenSolar will be updating our utility bill calculator to support modeling these changes in anticipation of the final ruling. You will be able to: Add a new export compensation model we call “Net Billing with Credit Carryover”, Add a new charge and credit based on installed PV capacity to model the Grid Participation Charge and the Market Transition Credit, Set the grandfathering period of NEM 2.0 before customers are forced onto NEM 3.0. This will allow our California pros to accurately model the project financials before the sunset of NEM 2.0 mid this year Please check our help center for an overview of NEM 3.0 (proposed) and tour of how to model NEM 3.0. Help Save California Solar Simple steps to get involved from our friends at CALSSA 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, Dion Product Designer, OpenSolar

  • December Release 2021

    The last quarter of 2021 has been a busy time at OpenSolar. In early November, we launched the all-new OpenSolar 2.0, and since then we’ve been working on even more enhancements that are designed to help you, the solar professionals around the world who run your businesses on our platform. Here’s a quick overview of our latest release which brings powerful new functionality based on your valuable feedback. Custom Fields You can now customize the data you collect and show in your Projects, Contacts and COGS Buildup. You can create “text”, “dropdown” or “date/time” field types for Projects and Contacts fields. You can also create new fields for COGS Build Up that enables you to capture and reflect costs for your business. Please check our help center for a tour of the new features. Stringing Information For string inverters, OpenSolar now provides string voltage information and warnings to ensure that you are alerted when a system design specifies voltage levels that are outside of what the inverter can handle. For micro-inverters, our software will now help you ensure that the selected micro-inverter is compatible with the PV panels based on voltage specifications, and provide warnings where it is not. In addition, you now get maximum and minimum temperatures at the system location, using new TMY weather files, which you can override if you wish. We have also added other various warning messages which pertain to the DC/AC ratio (these are available for all inverters, including DC-optimised systems). Please check our help center for a tour of the new features. Automated Bill of Materials (BOM) You may have seen that we are starting to automate the creation of your BOMs, starting with Ironridge in the US. Now, we’ve expanded on the list of equipment that this functionality supports. This update includes Sunpower AC panels with inbuilt IQ7A Enphase inverter (SPR-MAX5-415-E3-AC,SPR-MAX5-410-E3-AC, SPR-MAX5-400-E3-AC, SPR-P3-370-BLK-E3-AC, SPR-P3-375-BLK-E3-AC, SPR-P3-380-BLK-E3-AC, SPR-P3-385-BLK-E3-AC). We’ve added warning messages when it looks like your design might require specific Enphase equipment, allowing you to select from a recommended list, and automatically generate a BOM. We will continue to support more and more product types, in order to streamline your workflows, reduce multiple data entry, and ensure the most efficient equipment ordering possible. DocuSign Enhancements We’ve now added the ability to preview a project’s docusign contract via the Info and Manage pages, and also added the ability to reset a Docusign contract from the Info and Manage page so that you can allow the customer to re-sign a Docusign contract if the project changes after the first contract is signed. There are other enhancements and bug fixes to make sure that your contract signing is easier and faster. Contract Improvements Our ProX team is always here to help, and now we have added new tools for both yourself and the ProX team to help you set up a more customized contract experience for your customers. The ProX team can now set up for you: Multiple new contract placeholders Loan provider, interest, term, 2nd & 3rd customer contact information (i.e. Full Name, Email, Phone, ...), System AC Capacity, Price Per Watt (Total Price), Price Per Watt (Purchase Price), System Grid-Independence Percentage (%) System Self-Consumption Percentage (%) “N” number of days before or after the contract/installation date New checkboxes (both required and optional) and free text fields (both required and optional) as Docusign tags Other Enhancements There are a wide range of other improvements for your use, including more guidance on optimal SolarEdge designs, the ability to set the costing for steep racks, Dutch and Portuguese proposal template language support, and the ability to capture passport number and licence number in your contacts. Finally, there are a wide range of smaller but no less important updates and fixes. Here’s a detailed list of all the enhancements in this release. 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. All of the functionality I have described here is up and running, and ready for you to take advantage of. If you ever have any questions, please contact us at Cheers, Gagan Product Manager, OpenSolar View

  • Heading home from COP26

    As I reflect on a hectic three days at COP, my read is that there were actually two conferences going on in Glasgow: one for politicians, and another (across >100 venues across the city) for the entrepreneurs. On the former, I think we’ll see the politicians fail to take sufficient and current action for the 26th time, and I could be wrong but I’m not seeing the end of fossil fuel subsidies any time soon - they just can’t grasp the obvious cleaner, cheaper, better path. But we can win because we have the latter group - the entrepreneurs, the fighters, the folks working their buts off every day to get us there. I take hope in the immense and diverse power of the thousands of small businesses solving the problems, out-competing the big bad guys and changing the future. There are just so many passionate entrepreneurs doing so much just under the radar from the COP media coverage, and it felt great to be part of that, launching 2.0 as one of those innovations. Innovations that can create meaningful change - and doing that from right here in Scotland on behalf of our amazing OpenSolar team! Was awesome! Thanks for all of you that attended our 2.0 launch, from all over the world - the solar professionals, the solar heroes. I hope you liked the new features and integrations! And there’s more to come. We can still win! We’re gonna win, just in time to solve climate I hope! Here’s my quick clip across the water from the politicos conference, as I take leave of Scotland till the next time...

  • A Salute to the World's Solar Entrepreneurs

    Hello, and welcome to our new OpenSolar blog! My name is Andrew Birch, but most everyone calls me Birchy. I am the co-founder of OpenSolar, and I’m proud to say that after a TON of work by the incredible OpenSolar crew, we’ve become the world’s fastest, most accurate solar design and proposal software platform. I’ve lived around the world, and made Solar my life’s work. But I am writing to you today from the 26th UN Climate Change Conference that is taking place here in Glasgow, Scotland. Also known as COP26 (Conference of the Parties), this summit brings the world’s governments together to accelerate action towards the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This event is especially important, as we will analyze the goals that were set five years ago at COP21, where the Paris Agreement was first established. That’s when every country agreed to work together to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees celsius. They can do this by setting clear, radical Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century. These include the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, stopping deforestation and protecting ecosystems, and speeding up the switch to electric vehicles. By transforming their government’s budget and spending, they can enter a green era and save our planet from destruction. But I don’t think it is politicians who will save the world - I think it’s you, the world’s solar entrepreneurs. Even though I am here at COP26, I know that the real difference will be made by you men and women out there on the front lines, selling and installing solar, making the solar industry grow bigger every year. With solar energy being cheaper than fossil fuels for the first time in history, now is the time to make the big transition. And you are going to lead it. Our goal is to be by your side every step of the way, helping propel your business forward, and serve your local community. Now recognized and independently verified as the world’s fastest, most accurate solar design software, our mission is to help you sell solar faster. So please always tell us how we’re doing, and what we can do better at

  • A World of Difference

    I’m Lavinia and I am one of the original Openers based Down Under. My job at OpenSolar is to make sure all our team members have everything they need to be awesome. I have one of the most diverse roles in our company. Here is how I spend my day. After the morning scramble of packing school lunches and locating a missing school shoe, I head to the home office with a hot cuppa. One of my favourite parts of my day is connecting with the ProX team in the US (across California, Miami, Texas) to get the latest feedback from our Pro users. This feedback is the lifeblood of our product. Their enthusiasm is contagious and I have accent envy. I can see the Aussie software team coming online for the daily global software standup meeting. Short, sharp, then back to designing & building. Today I learned we’ve had over 99.9% uptime over the last 12 months and we are gearing up to unveil 12 months of work building version 2.0. The other 90% was in a language I don’t understand. Up next is a product design and roadmap meeting. I don’t normally attend these but this is where some of the most important decisions are made. Every team shows up with lots of passion and ideas to contribute, which is not surprising considering that our team has a combined total of 176 years of solar experience, across solar sales, solar software, solar ops and finance, solar support and solar installation. It’s always a very lively debate. We have four new commercial partners coming on board this month. I check in with the business development and partner management teams and we agree a plan for adding new product videos to the online proposal. We also celebrate adding another integrated loan product to the platform. Being across our commercial partner contracts is the bread and butter of my job. It is a delight to end the day with our company-wide Townhall. We have Openers dialing in from the US, Australia, UK, Portugal, Argentina, Spain and Brazil. I’m always amazed at the diversity of our team - we speak 10 languages and represent 13 nationalities! Townhall is a chance for me to introduce and welcome our new team members to the OpenSolar family. It’s also an opportunity to share insights across the teams and countries. I learn that our European team have finished a refresh of utility rates and incentives across the EU, and have completed translations for our 8th language. Townhall always reminds me why our work matters, and how I am making a difference. And now the most pivotal decision of every day: what’s for dinner?

  • It's Official - We're Class-Leading!

    Hey Everyone, I’m Joe and I lead Product here at OpenSolar. I got my first job in solar in 2009 at Sungevity - at the time a local, Berkeley-based installer that was pioneering a novel technology that promised to significantly reduce the cost of solar: Remote Solar Design. The appeal of Remote Solar Design (RSD) was straightforward enough: If you had reliable remote site assessment, you could eliminate the initial site visit and save a truck-roll, which typically costs a couple hundred dollars. If you do this early in the sales process, when conversion rates were still in the single digit percent, you could cut your customer acquisition costs by a few thousand dollars per job - a lot of money in an industry where fat margins are hard to come by. But making Remote Solar Design a reality was anything but straightforward. Sungevity had a mysterious super-developer named Adam, who was based in Sydney, Australia and built the first-of-its-kind RSD software, leveraging newly available, high-resolution oblique aerial imagery to construct 3D models of each site. But even with that software, we still relied on a team of very sharp, highly trained “RSDers” to painstakingly complete these designs. I sat next to our RSDers for about a year and got to watch them in action. For any given site, they’d trace out the ridges and gutters, hips and valleys of each roof face in multiple oblique views. They’d then map each edge that they defined in one view to the corresponding edge that they defined from another view. Then they’d layer in obstructions. For trees, for instance, they had to decide whether each tree looked more like a lollipop or a traffic cone and then add one of those shapes to the 3D model. Only after all this would we add the modules and run the energy production simulations and savings calculations. (Then, given the myriad of opportunities for human error, we’d have someone else on the team run the design through a quality assurance process to ensure there hadn’t been any mistakes, so we could confidently offer a performance guarantee against the production estimates.) It was a lot of work! But, happily, times have changed. Adam from Sydney, who I now know as my friend Adam Pryor, has been hard at work refining RSD technology and taking advantage of the latest datasets which are far richer than anything we had 10 years ago. Rather than relying on 2D oblique images, or LiDAR-based point clouds, the latest generation of the software uses photogrammetry-based Digital Surface Maps (DSMs). This DSM-based approach allows us to instantly generate a high-resolution 3D model of any site without any input from the user. No defining roof edges in multiple views, or raising roofs off the ground. Just enter the address and the 3D model of the site is there. This offers huge benefits to the user: It allowed us to cut the time it takes to complete a design from 15-20 minutes to under 2 minutes It’s dramatically reduced the training and expertise required to use the software It allows for a level of shading accuracy that cannot be achieved with other technologies It has virtually eliminated the potential for human error Crucially, it produces incredibly accurate estimates. Given my understanding of the tool - and my faith in Adam to do amazing things! - I’ve been confident from the start that the reliability and accuracy of OpenSolar’s design tool is second to none. But since not everyone knows Adam or has the time to dig into the technology, we’ve engaged with some of the most trusted experts in the industry to provide independent, 3rd party assessments of the accuracy of OpenSolar’s design tool. Accurate production estimates are ultimately a function of two things: project inputs (e.g. pitch, azimuth, shading, scale, weather and hardware parameters) and the energy model (i.e. the math that converts those inputs into outputs). So we set out to get each of these assessed by third parties. We asked NREL (the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory), which has been benchmarking the accuracy of shading assessments in solar design tools for years, to evaluate the accuracy of OpenSolar’s analyses. They identified 80 locations on homes in Los Angeles and Denver and we used OpenSolar to judge the Sun Access Values (SAVs) at each location. They then compared those values to measurements that they had made on the roof using a SunEye. We’re thrilled to report that no other solar design tool scored better than OpenSolar did: OpenSolar’s assessment of Sun Access Values was accurate to within +/- 3% comparably In a separate study using the same methodology, NREL found that the current US market leader was only found to be accurate to within +/- 5% Then we engaged PVEL (PV Evolution Labs), the leader in PV bankability testing, to assess the accuracy of our 3D site models. PVEL sent a couple of their engineers onto roofs of all shapes and sizes where they meticulously measured the slope and scale of each roof. A separate engineer took the same measurements in OpenSolar, and then compared their results with the on-the-roof measurements. Again, we are happy to report that they found the accuracy of our models to be best-in-class: OpenSolar’s assessment of scale was accurate to within 1 ⅓ feet 100% of the time (no other tool provides as narrow a tolerance) OpenSolar’s assessment of pitch was accurate to within 4 degrees over 97% of the time (no other tool provides as narrow a tolerance OR such high compliance) Finally, we had our energy modeling validated. OpenSolar’s energy modeling is based on NREL’s most advanced System Advisor Model (SAM) and we asked PVEL to validate the integrity of our implementation of SAM. PVEL estimated production for sites in a range of environmental conditions (e.g. hot, unshaded; cool, shaded) in OpenSolar, and compared those estimates to estimates for the same sites made in industry standard energy modeling tools like PVsyst or standalone implementations of NREL’s SAM. PVEL found: OpenSolar’s energy modeling is consistent with standard engineering practices OpenSolar’s production figures are within 0.0%-0.2% of standalone SAM estimates OpenSolar’s production figures are within 0.1%-1.9% of PVsyst estimates The last 15 years have been good for Remote Solar Design. Being able to quickly, easily and reliably produce highly accurate designs was always the dream during my Sungevity days and that dream is now a reality. We’re very excited about where we go from here!

  • Sell Fast with DocuSign & Stripe on OpenSolar

    Say hello to fast, easy digital agreements and payment processing! We've fully integrated DocuSign and Stripe, the trusted leaders in online contracts and payments, to protect your time for selling. Why use DocuSign? Global leader in e-sign technology that customers trust Sign documents anywhere from any device More security with encrypted documents and complete audit trails Benefits to using Stripe Easy checkout process in seconds Customer can authorize payment directly from the proposal Security and fraud protection from one of the largest

  • Protect your time and spare your operating budget with NREL's SolarTRACE

    Here's another valuable tool to arm you and your business with the post-sale approval process data you need to cut your operating costs and move fast. SolarTRACE: Permitting & Interconnection Timelines Understand your post-sale timelines and soft costs Real data on average time for permitting and interconnection by AHJ Identify jurisdictions with favorable timelines to focus your business efforts “I’m a solar entrepreneur and I’ve been at it for 14 years, and I have to give a quick shout out to a fellow entrepreneur, Andrew Birch, who really put his heart and soul into this concept.” — LYNN JURICH ON SOLARAPP LAUNCH CEO, SUNRUN SolarAPP Recap - Streamline Solar Permitting SolarAPP, the new national standard for automated permitting, launched on July 15th to reduce permitting timelines and soft costs. Now we need your help getting your local AHJ onboard! You can view the recorded launch roundtable with US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, if you'd like to get up to speed.

  • Steps to Boost Your Digital Sales & Marketing

    Here are three ways to increase sales by moving fast and building the trust your customers need. 1. Use Dynamic Scheduling Benefits of enabling Calendly Easy scheduling to save time Increase odds of directly address questions over phone/video It's free and takes ~3 minutes to set up 2. Set up Lead Capture on your website Benefits of setting up lead capture on your website Simple online process for your customers to request a quote Never miss an opportunity or lose details Save time with lead import and management 3. Leverage Social Proof How to build trust with your Proposals Include customer testimonials and case studies Add photos of your team and happy customers Add install photos from projects local to your customers

  • Finally, it's here! SolarAPP Launch Day

    It's official, the White House has launched SolarAPP today, July 15th, to bring you the new national standard in automated permitting! I'm incredibly grateful to all those who helped me make this happen alongside such a passionate and hardworking committee. Hear the SolarAPP Story It's a great day for Solar in the USA thanks in large part to our co-founder Andrew Birch ('Birchy'). Here he explains the significance of today's announcement by the Department of Energy at the White House. With SolarAPP, plus the OpenSolar platform and our on-demand permitting packages, you're looking at one of the fastest and most affordable ways to get your permitting process done right. Streamline Solar Permitting. NREL’s free, online SolarAPP cuts down the solar permitting process by at least 5-10 business days with standardized requirements and instant compliance checks. This means less waiting and more solar. Learn more at How to get SolarAPP in your area Share information with your networks about SolarAPP Refer local building department contacts to get info and register at Register for an account at so you are ready to use SolarAPP

  • Top Tips for 3D Design and Digital Sales Toolkit

    There's a ton of buzz in the solar software world these days and we want to make sure we're making it easy for you to take advantage of OpenSolar's most valuable features. Below are helpful resources to help you get the most from our flagship automated 3D design and shade analysis, digital sales toolkit, and business management functionality. “I can do 3D designs in minutes, sell on an iPad in home or via screen-share on phone with the most beautiful proposal on the market - and it’s all totally free!” — CASEY, LAIBACH SOLAR (CA) Automated 3D Design and Shade Analysis Simple 3-step process - More accuracy in less time. 1. Toggle on 'Activate OpenSolar 3D' 2. Select '+' Panel Groups and paint on solar panels 3. Under 'Shading', evaluate various auto-calculated shading values Digital Sales Toolkit Tips Solutions whenever and wherever you need them. Below are a few of your OpenSolar Team's top tips and best practices! 1. Walk clients through the interactive proposal and design via screenshare on iPad or desktop 2. One-click call, email or text your customer for quick contact right from the mobile app 3. Compare multi-option online sales proposals in MyEnergy, for mobile, iPad or desktop

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