Steve Smith on May 20,2013 – 12:00am
SAN DIEGO — RevoluSun Solar, a solar-panel energy- system provider, is looking to use electronics and electronics/appliance retailers as franchisees to sell its systems.
Shawn Mahoney, sales director of RevoluSun, knows how electronics and electronics/appliance retail channels work and perform, having worked a decade in the CE industry: seven with Tweeter and the rest with Hitachi’s TV division.
Mahoney told TWICE that the company is the No. 1 residential integrator of solar systems in Hawaii since 2009, and has installed more than 3,500 since then.
RevoluSun, which currently operates in its home state of Hawaii and in Massachusetts, is now looking to expand into the Southern California, Texas and Washington, D.C., area, as well as Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, the state of Washington and others via CE-related retailers.
“We want to partner with companies in our expansion that have existing infrastructure, existing sales force and an existing customer base,” Mahoney said, “The type of operations that would have 1,000 or more leads per year.”
Mahoney did not specify franchise fees except to say there is a one-time fee and small ongoing fees.
Another quality RevoluSun is looking for is retailers with a “consultive sales force” and not “clerks taking orders,” Mahoney said.
The current sales model is “very in-home consultation focused, but we’re perfecting a model where systems can be designed, quoted, and sold in-store in a 10- to 15-minute sales process. To me, this is the future of selling solar, being able to do it in-store using our incredibly robust software,” he said.
The company provides “an industry-leading software tool suite, including sales presentation software and back-end project management tools” that are customized for each retailer with training to sell the system.
Mahoney said that retailers who sell solar-panel systems “have to sell the complete solution. That’s where we come in — we help them piece all those factors together from panels, to inverters (convert DC to AC), racking, counter flashings, installation partners, consumer financing deals, federal tax credit, state tax incentives, utility incentives, etc., and they all vary by market. We figure it all out for the retailer.”
With training, the installations could be done by the individual retailers, or could be done by local installers who are trained and approved by RevoluSun, he noted.
Mahoney said RevoluSun offers 12-month zero-financing deals but did not give pricing on the average residential system. But, he noted, “the federal tax credit takes off 30 percent of the price. Depending upon where the installation is being done, there could be state, local and utility incentives,” which could reduce system prices for consumers substantially.
Mahoney explained, “In short, we come in, share 100 percent of our business model … and we help them roll it out within their organization as well as navigate the minefield of variables. If you’re a retailer in 12 different markets, you’ll likely have 12 different setups. We partner with them throughout the entire process and remain their partner postlaunch for years to come. And as those markets change, we’re helping them manage it ongoing.”