OneRoof Energy launched a unique entry to the residential solar leasing market last year, when it began offering leased PV-systems to homeowners through roofers. These include systems designed to blend into the roof.
And it’s paid off—the company plans to hire on 100 or more employees in 2012 to keep up with sales as it expands its reach.
The company works with roofers, rather than electricians and other solar installers, to integrate solar into roofs. The systems can be installed as a retrofit, a new roof or a replacement roof, according to CEO David Field.
The company established a $50 million fund with Black Coral Capital, a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), last fall to support leases. Apparently people have taken note.
“We’ve been very busy training and supporting roofing contractors, It’s actually going very well. There’s been a pent up demand for this. A lot of roofers wanted to get into solar, but didn’t know how to,” Field said.
It’s been easy to bring roofers on board, but the company is making sure it can support them. That means its working on hiring new employees. At the same time it plans to expand into more states.
The company plans to hire on at least 100 more employees this year and 100 more next year, according to Field. The majority of jobs will be in California.
“But not exclusively. In every market we go into we make sure we’ve got some local employers to works with roofers and dealers to really have that local presence,” he said. “A lot of the positions scale with sales.”
At this point, the company is in two markets.
“We’re in California and Hawaii and soon to move into Arizona and Colorado and several East Coast markets,” he said.
The company is looking to expand into markets with the right regulations and electric rate structures.
“Everyone seems to take the same approach,” he said. “They have core markets, and those are the ones we plan to move into. Hopefully the number [of possible markets] will increase.”
To support the expansion and future sales, the company is also creating a second fund.
“We’re working with the same core investors but also talking to a few others. You’re always trying to drive down your cost of capital. To do that it’s always better to have multiple sources,” Field said.
He anticipated the fund would be announced this summer.