Rates Rise in the Northeast

If you live in the Northeast, you may want to re-think your New Years resolutions to include “going solar”!  This past week, several New England electric utilities announced significant utility rate increases for residential and general (commercial & industrial) customers:

NStar: 30% increases

Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P):  25% increases.

National Grid – MA (NG):  40% increases.

Western Massachusetts Electric (WMECo).  30% increases.

Our Data Team constantly tracks and updates our database of electricity rates.  We’ll post more as we see additional increases.

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We’re Hiring: Start 2015 Off Right!

If your New Year’s resolution is to workout more and eat healthier, we probably can’t help you that much.  Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 10.56.50 AMIf your resolution is to find an awesome new job in a growing and exciting company, you’ve come to the right place.  We are currently hiring for a number of positions:


Core Java API Engineer.  Enhance our cloud architecture to handle the increased load, as well as develop our next-generation rate engine and internal and external APIs.

Full Stack Senior Software Engineer. Take charge of our internal and external web-based tools, including reporting, analytics and showcase apps.

Calculation Farm Wrangler Software Engineer.  Manage our Calculation Engine as we re-engineer and tune for increased volume.

Tariff Data Entry Specialist. Help grow and maintain our industry leading database of electricity rates.

If any of these seem like just the thing you’re looking for to start 2015 off right, send us your resume at jobs@genability.com.  We’d love to chat!

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Come Work With Us! Seeking Senior Software Engineers

Genability is growing and we want YOU to join our team! We’re looking for talented senior software engineers to help us scale our software and develop our newest products: Switch, Conduct and Gauge. Our customers include major solar installers and developers, as well as the leaders in Connected Home, EV and Connected Building. Our work is challenging, rewarding, and you will have lots of independence and flexibility.

Interested? Check out the full job listing

Please send resumes to jobs@genability.com.

No Recruiters!  Do Not Call Us!  Seriously, We Do Not Hire From Recruiters!

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Farewell Laylee

It’s a bitter-sweet day. Today is Laylee’s last day at Genability. If you’ve ever emailed, called or visited us, you’ve likely met Laylee.  She’s been our office manager, team cheerleader and Jane-Of-All-Trades for the last three years.  We’re extremely sad to see her go, but we know she’s off to bigger and better and will do great things in her next endeavors.  Laylee is off to the team at Segment, a new online aggregator for analytic providers, to help build out the office and grow the team.


These will be big shoes to fill but we’re currently looking for an office manager to replace her. Email us at jobs@genability.com if you’re interested.

Thanks Laylee for everything and best of luck!

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Getting Notification of Outages

To ensure you receive timely notification of issues, outages and status of the Genability API and web applications, we are instituting a new support notification process. We promise you the following:

1. Outage Notifications
We have internal and external monitoring services which automatically notify our engineering team of issues. If the API or app servers experience an outage, a significant slowdown, or some other issue, we will send a notification email to you via Zendesk. We will tell you exactly which services are, and are not, affected. We’ve now tied notifying you into our production notification process.

2. Periodic Updates
As our engineering team works on the issue, we will provide you with periodic and timely updates on the status of the issue. We will also include, to the best of our ability, an estimated time to resolution.

3. Resolution Notifications
As soon as we have confirmed that the service is back online or the issue is resolved, we will send word via email.

4. Post-Mortem Results
After every outage, we have an internal post-mortem where we investigate what caused the issue and identify measures to prevent it from reoccurring. Once complete we will send you a summary. Our goal is to send the summary within 24 hours, although this may vary depending on the issue’s complexity.

The notifications will be sent to the addresses you designate for this purpose. We have one list for API notifications, and another for web app notifications, as issues with one may not impact the other. For example, API notifications may be of importance for your IT and production support teams, whereas web app issues would impact internal end-users.

Eric will contact you soon to confirm we have the correct notification address for each of these lists. You may also update your contact addresses at any time by sending an email to support@genability.com.

We take any outage or issue seriously. In addition to better outage notification, we’re working hard to prevent outages from occurring at all. We will blog separately on our service levels agreements (SLAs) and what we are doing to make our services more resilient and performant.

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Join the Open Solar Savings effort!

In May, Genability announced the launch of our Open Solar Savings initiative at the White Houses Energy Datapalooza. Open Solar Savings will be an open-source database of residential solar savings and their location, available free via API.

This data can drive down the soft costs of solar by making the market easier to understand and more accessible for all participants. Our goal is for solar developers, energy educators, marketers, and financiers to use Open Solar Savings to find, attract, convert, and keep solar customers.

We need your help
We plan to work closely with solar experts as we build the database. That’s where you come in. Through an collaborative, iterative process, we can make Open Solar Savings a valuable asset for the solar community. If you would like to contribute to our effort, please contact us.

A showcase website
Along with the API, we’ll release a national map of residential solar savings. We hope that the interactive experience will bring new insights on solar’s avoided costs.

What can you do with solar savings data?
A spatial view of savings provides a fresh perspective on the solar market. Here are some of our ideas, but we are eager to hear yours.

  • Solar developers can use the API to find new residential markets and assess their potential value

  • Solar installers can systematically identify high-cost areas where they undersell the competition

  • Solar educators and marketers can illustrate their point using the showcase map’s intuitive display of regional savings trends

  • Homeowners can see trends in cost abatement in their region.

  • What other applications can you think of?

Next steps
With the guidance of industry partners like you, we’re working hard to compile and format our savings data. Spring 2015 is our target for the full launch. To share your thoughts and suggestions, or to request for early access to Open, please contact us.

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EPA’s Groundbreaking Power Plant Regulation

On June 2nd 2014, the EPA revealed a game-changing regulatory proposal that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants by 30%, from a 2005 baseline.

In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA has a legislative mandate to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the Clean Air Act. President Obama ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to begin regulation of carbon emissions, which led to new standards for vehicles, and strict regulation on new power plants.

Under the proposed rules, each state has been given a GHG reduction goal and must either develop its own plan or coordinate with other states.

Means of compliance include:

  • updating existing power plants to reduce their emissions,
  • increasing renewable generation,
  • Instituting Demand Response Programs
  • and investing in energy efficiency programs to reduce consumption, and, by extension, GHG emissions.

Among possible maneuvers, a  state or group of states can set a collective goal and establish a carbon market in order to reduce their costs more efficiently. States that already participate in carbon markets, such as New England’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, can meet the prescribed goals through regional action that allow some states to exceed their specific individual goals as long as all states meet a combined reduction target sanctioned by the EPA.

Another option available is for one state to pay another to reduce its emissions, and receive EPA credit for the reductions. For example, Alabama could pay Wyoming to reduce emissions more than Wyoming’s set goal, if it’s cheaper for Alabama than making the reductions in-state.  Alabama would then receive credit from the EPA because collectively both states will have satisfied the reduction requirements. EPA has also proposed the option to convert rate-based goals “lbs CO2/MWh” to a mass-based goal, such as “annual emissions in pounds.”

Many states already have Renewable Portfolio Standards and emissions reduction goals. For them, meeting EPA’s 2030 goals may require only small adjustments to current policies. Other states depend heavily on old coal plants, and will need to make sizeable adjustments.

The EPA has published state-based power plant emissions rates and emission rate goals, requiring certain states to reduce their rates more than others. Here are the top ten states, ranked by percent of emission they must reduce:

EPA gave different targets for different  states based on ease of reducing emissions. Washington State already planed to phase out a large coal power plant and thus it can more easily and cost effectively reduce its emissions more so than other states that generate the vast majority of electricity from coal and also export electricity. Another perspective is to find the amount of clean terawatt hours (TWh) that each state will need by 2030 under the new regulations. This number is based on states’ energy production in 2012, multiplied the percentage of reduction needed. Due to the flexibility of the new EPA requirements, carbon emissions can be reduced through clean generation (such as solar), demand response, and increased efficiency in generation or energy conservation. The top ten states with the highest absolute requirements are:

Due to the politicized nature of the global warming issue, many “red” states with Republican governors are likely to oppose this regulation by challenging it in court. They will be slower than liberal-leaning states to develop regional and state-based plans. Just as many “red” states refused to set up their own insurance market exchanges many red states will not eagerly embrace designing new emission reduction plans. Blue states, however, may view this issue as a way to reduce cost of electricity through investments in renewables and efficiency.

The top ten democratic-leaning states with the biggest percentage reduction required are:

The leaning blue states with the highest level of TWh needed replaced are:

California already leads the nation in solar capacity, and continues to expand their renewables program. States such as Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and Florida, which face significant requirements, may use this regulation to jump-start their solar and renewable energy sectors.

EPA’s Simple explanation of the new rules

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Meet the Newest Members of Our Team

Over the last few months, we have grown our engineering and data operations teams. Chances are you have already met with or spoken to a new member, but how well do you really know them?

_I1C8435_cropJustin Lee
Role at Genability: Data analyst and account manager. I work with our commercial solar developers to manage their projects with us and complete analyses and reports.
I’ve lived in: St. Paul, MN (aka Winterfell), Cuernavaca, Mexico for study abroad, Santiago, Chile for study abroad, and San Francisco CA.
Outside of work, I like to: Ride bikes, yoga, hike and read.
I work in cleantech because: It’s interesting, it’s growing quickly, there’s lots of opportunity and I need to feel a purpose in my work. I’m proud of what I do and the difference we are trying to make.

_I1C8500_cropManjiri Mandhale
Role at Genability: Software engineer focused on enhancing and developing the APIs.
I’ve lived in: I grew up in India earning my undergraduate degree in computer science before moving to the U.S to get my Master’s from Rochester Institute of Technology. Over the years, my journey has taken me from Pune (India) to Rochester , Cleveland, Richmond and now to San Francisco.
Outside of work, I like to: In my free time, I like traveling, painting and listening to good music. I have also recently started experimenting with cooking, trying out old recipes from my mom.
I work in cleantech because: I like to work on platforms that affect a large number of people and solve fundamental problems. Working at Genability inspires me since we are helping provide reliable, pollution free sources of energy through technology.

_I1C8441_cropMartin Baker
Role at Genability: Senior Software Engineer
I’ve lived in: England, New Jersey and San Francisco.
Outside of work, I like to: read, cook and enjoy San Francisco’s many fine parks.
I work in cleantech because: I want to help people make the choice to go solar and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.


_I1C8474_cropDean Bateman
Role at Genability: Sr. Data Analyst and Tariff Expert on the data operations team.
I’ve lived in: Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area and San Luis Obispo.
Outside of work, I like to: hike and take pictures.
I work in cleantech because: it’s a optimistic field. It says there is a better way and we are making it happen.


_I1C8519-2_cropDavid Thorn
Role at Genability: Building visuals for Genability’s products.
I’ve lived in: my entire life in the East Bay Area between Pleasanton and Fremont.
Outside of work, I like to: work with motorcycles, play with dogs and eat pizza.
I work in cleantech because: I enjoy the role Cleantech can play in fixing problems in everyday life.


_I1C8487_cropBecky Gallagher
Role at Genability: Summer intern working with the data operations team.
I’ve lived in: in New Jersey, Boston, Chile for a bit, New Haven and now Berkeley.
Outside of work, I like to: Run, play frisbee, and go camping.
I work in cleantech because: The energy industry has a bad track record when it comes to human health and the environment, but things are changing quickly. I want to make it even easier for people to say “yes” to the good stuff like energy efficiency and solar.

_I1C8491Gabe Goffman
Role at Genability: Summer intern working with the data operations team.
I’ve lived in: in Washington DC, Nicaragua for two wonderful years, Brazil and India.
Outside of work, I like to: read British literature, dance at nightclubs and travel.
I work in cleantech because: It’s a fascinating, futuristic field with the potential for massive positive externalities.

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Genability Announces “Open Solar Savings” at The White House Energy Datapalooza

JasonRiley_SecretaryMoniz_v1 (1)Speaking this week at The White House Energy Datapalooza, Genability’s CEO Jason Riley announced the launch of the Company’s “Open Solar Savings” initiative. In partnership with the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, Genability will be publishing and maintaining a nationwide dataset of solar PV savings, freely available for anyone to use.

“Based on the latest NREL numbers, approximately 64% of the current cost of a residential solar PV system is so-called soft costs, which includes customer acquisition, permitting, financing and all non-hardware related expenses,” said Jason Riley. “The goal of Open Solar Savings is to provide the data that homeowners, solar educators, installers, developers and financiers need to help drive down these costs and contribute to the SunShot goal of $1/W by 2020.” Along with an API, Genability will be building a showcase solar savings website for homeowners.

“By leveraging freely available government data and tools, entrepreneurs and innovators are helping to build the clean energy economy,” said Todd Park, U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President. “Innovations like those featured today at the Energy Datapalooza can help Americans conserve energy, save money, and advance a safer and cleaner future.”

To participate and learn more about Open Solar Savings email open@genability.com. A video of Jason’s Energy Datapalooza speech can be viewed below:

About the Energy Datapalooza
Hosted by The White House, the Department of Energy, and the General Services Administration, the Energy Datapalooza highlighted companies who leverage the power of open data to foster the clean energy economy. The event included a speech by Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and “lightning talks” from Genability as well as C3 Energy, OPower, FirstFuel, and Nest.

About Genability
Genability enables New Energy Companies to embed smart energy in their products, saving their customers money. Genability’s customers are the leading providers of solar, electric vehicles, connected appliances, and home energy management. They use our software to precisely find, maximize and communicate energy cost savings. In dollars, not kWh. Genability’s technology is backed by the industry’s best database of electricity tariff rates, incentives and rebates coupled with the fastest, most accurate rate engine available. Genability’s software applications include: Genability Switch™, for sophisticated forecasting and beautiful presentation of savings if you go solar, purchase an EV, choose a different rate plan and more, and Genability Conduct™, which tracks and benchmarks energy spend as well as optimizes scheduling of connected appliances and EV smart chargers. Visit www.genability.com.

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DOE SunShot’s 1st Hackathon

This week at the SunShot Grand Challenge Summit in Anaheim, the SunShot Initiative hosted its first ever Hackathon. The event featured 6 teams putting together apps with data provided by Geostellar, NREL, Sun Number, Solar Nexus and Genability.

With just 24 hours, the hackers were told to build an app that focused on 1 of 3 themes:

  • Make going solar fun.
  • Make going solar cheaper.
  • Incorporate social media into the solar process (either buying solar or post install).

I was honored to judge the final projects alongside Victor Kane (Manager at the SunShot Initiative) and Eric Alderman (CEO of SolarNexus).

After an hour of presentations, the grand prize went to Greener, an app that allows individuals shopping for a new home to see the potential solar savings of various homes and compare.

Summary of the Apps:

  • Greener. Chrome extension that adds a pre-solar and post-solar savings estimate to your Zillow search. Before you buy a house, you’ll know the potential savings if you add solar.
  • Optimizyer. A client library that allows solar developers to compare various microinverters, modules and string inverters for the optimal system design.
  • EiValue. An app for home appraisers to use when valuing a home for a potential resell. The app will compare other solar homes in the neighborhood, as well as a cash flow analysis to accurately appraise the system when the home is being sold.
  • SunFun. A Facebook app to compare solar savings with your social network and compete for points.
  • LeaseX. Platform to streamline the lease transfer process when buying or selling a home that already has a leased solar system on it.
  • Spark. A social network of individuals who have gone solar or installed an energy efficiency project. Share ideas and reviews.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the event and we look forward to seeing how these projects progress.

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