Genability Switch the Market Standard for Residential Solar

We’ve been busy the last few months with product upgrades, growing the team, as well as adding several new residential solar Switch customers.  Genability now works with 7 of the top 10 residential solar providers in the US.

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Genability assisted Sunrun with the rollout of their BrightPath station.  These kiosks are located throughout various big box retailers in California and New York and allow prospective solar customers to receive an estimate of potential savings based on their homes’ zip, building type, shade and size.  Sunrun is also using Switch APIs in their BrightPath installer quote tool for potential customers in the 12 states they operate in.

sp_2014_logo_black_orange_cmyk-30SunPower’s residential quote tool, SunPower Spectrum, uses the Genability Switch APIs for their installer partner and dealer network quote tool.  Spectrum has rolled been rolled out to dealers in California and Hawaii.

DS-Logo_White-Background-high-resDividend Solar, a new entrant to the market, offers a “solar-ownership-as-a-service” loan. They’ve integrated the Switch APIs into EmpowerPortal, their residential quote platform, and will be operating in 10+ states as they utilize their “eight figure project finance fund.”

Sunnova-LogoSunnova, a residential lease provider, raised a $250 MM fund to develop solar projects in the US.  They are utilizing the Switch APIs in their internal quote tool, NovaQuotes, for installers in 10+ states including California, Texas, New York and New Jersey.

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Protection1, one of the largest home security providers in the country, launched a solar PPA product through a $200 MM fund with their subsidiary, BriteEnergy.  Their installers use their new quote tool, built on top of the Switch APIs, to quote solar to existing and new home security customers in California.

 

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Our Team is Growing! Meet Our Newest Members

2015 has been a great year for Genability.  So far, we’ve have added six new members to our engineering and data operations teams. It’s been exciting to see our company grow in size and to see so many new faces around the office every day. Here’s your chance to get to know our newest folks a little better.

 

_I1C9767_bw_cropRob McCullough
Role at Genability: Senior Software Engineer, focused on the user experience of our new products.
I’ve lived in: Davis, Orange County, LA, and the Bay Area.
Outside of work, I like to: Bike, sail, visit the beach, and tinker with tech.
I work in cleantech because: I’ve always been interested in home automation, home energy management, and the IoT, so working for a company that enables a platform for growth in solar and HEM is a natural fit.

 

GenabilityHeadshots_I1C0990_sharpScott Harris
Role at Genability: I’m a Customer Implementation Engineer at Genability. I try to make it as easy as possible for customers to integrate the Genability API into their tools.
I’ve lived in: Orange County, CA.
Outside of work, I like to: Run, bike, and watch TV.
I work in cleantech because: It’s interesting. There’s always something new to learn.

 

GenabilityHeadshots_I1C8633_sharpKevin Timms
Role at Genability: Tariff Data Analyst
I’ve lived in: Rochester NY, Dayton OH, New Haven CT, Phoenix AZ, San Francisco CA
Outside of work, I like to: Run, go on brewery tours, and sit on patios.
I work in cleantech because: With a lot of new hardware and business models based on cleantech, there’s some really great (fun!) opportunities for data analytics to make a meaningful impact on the future of energy.

 

GenabilityHeadshots_I1C0992_sharpMatthew Gerring
Role at Genability: User experience and data visualization
I’ve lived in: Shingle Springs, Placerville, Sacramento, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Oakland, CA; Washington D.C.; and Brno, Czech Republic
Outside of work, I like to: Cook, play music, ride my bike, plant things, build things.
I work in cleantech because: It’s a form of applied optimism, it’s an important supporting role for all of my friends locking down to pipelines, highways, and fossil fuel export terminals, and because the world doesn’t need a new way to order takeout :)

 

Andrew_I1C9755-2_bwAndrew Fister
Role at Genability: Senior Software Engineer.
I’ve lived in: Maryland, Illinois, San Francisco.
Outside of work, I like to: Play capoeira, read novels, and ride my bicycle around San Francisco.
I work in cleantech because: Improving energy production and efficiency is the only way to sustain our civilization long into the future, and also to improve the standard of living for the global community.

 

Sheena_I1C9744_bwSheena Carswell
Role at Genability: Extending and improving the scalability of Genability APIs
I’ve lived in: I grew up in Scotland, and lived and worked briefly in Sydney, Australia. Since moving to the US I have lived in Boulder, CO, Santa Barbara, CA and Berkeley, CA.
Outside of work, I like to: Eat good food, garden, travel, and play with our twin four-year-old boys.
I work in cleantech because: I like the job satisfaction of working in a field that makes a positive change to the world. It’s exciting to be involved in such a growing field.

 

These six people are all welcome additions to our team and we look forward to seeing how much they can achieve in the future. Check back soon for even more new faces!

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Documentation Update: New How-Tos & Java Library

Over the last few weeks we’ve been making a lot of updates to our developer site. We’ve touched every page of the documentation, added new sections and updated some code. Read on to find out more.

How-Tos

One of the biggest updates to the documentation is the creation of the “How-Tos” section. Whether you just want to add a utility logo to your application or you need to do an entire customer savings analysis, the How-To section is the best place to start.

If you’re just getting familiar with the API, you’ll probably want to start with the Calculate Potential Solar Savings How-To. It outlines the entire process of doing a savings analysis with the Genability API. If you’ve got a nagging question that you can’t answer, the page of common scenarios might come in handy.

Java Client Library

We’ve also made two major updates to the Java client library. The first update is that we’ve brought the library up-to-date with the most recent changes to the API. This includes things like uploading a profile with baseline data instead of reading data or using the populateCosts parameter of the savings analysis endpoint. Every object, endpoint, and parameter in the API is now available through the client library.

The second major update is that we’ve made the Java client library is available on the Maven central repo. Now, instead of having to download, import, and compile the library manually, you can just add the following snippet to your pom.xml:

<dependency>
  <groupId>com.genability</groupId>
  <artifactId>genability-client</artifactId>
  <version>1.2.1</version>
</dependency>

You can see more about the client library on its dedicated GitHub page. Make sure to read the tutorial to see how to get started.

Updated Documentation

Finally, we’ve made a lot of updates — some major, some minor — to almost every page in the GDN. Some of the highlights include:

  • We’ve added a section on the Usage Profile page that describes how to upload solar production data as a modeled baseline rather than as meter reading data. This is now the preferred way to upload any solar production estimates that you’ve created.
  • On the Savings Analysis page, we’ve added a list of inputs that are available to you when using the calculator. Now you’ll know how to set the annual degradation rate for your solar system.
  • The Security page now includes examples of how to authenticate to the API in a number of common languages.

Give Us Your Feedback

All of these updates are made with one goal in mind: to make it as easy as possible for you to integrate the Genability API into your application. Let us know how we’re doing! If you find anything that is missing, out of date, or confusing, send us an email.

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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.

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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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