from greentechmedia.com – Electricity retailer Direct Energy started winding down its residential solar installation business last week.
Direct Energy Solar will continue to operate its commercial business and plans to maintain its existing fleet of rooftop installations. The pivot away from residential affects approximately 330 employees, making up a considerable portion of the company’s overall solar unit. Those employees have been given an opportunity to seek other jobs within the broader company.
Direct Energy, a subsidiary of Centrica, appears to have been the last national electricity retailer with its own residential solar business.
NRG Energy closed its rooftop solar installation business in February. And earlier this month, it decided to sell off its renewable power plants too.
Edison Energy, the renewables and energy services arm of Edison International, has undergone an executive-level shakeup and a strategic review by the parent company.
Customer acquisition costs have weighed heavily on large multistate solar operations, even as the cost of components has fallen. That dynamic has played out in the pure-play residential solar world, where the top three national installers have lost market share to smaller local and regional installers, whose customer acquisition costs tend to be lower.
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The era of electricity retailers trying to directly sell and install rooftop solar is coming to an end.
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