OpenSavings is Here

How popular is solar PV in your area and how much are people saving? How much does solar cost? What if you live in a San Francisco apartment or a mobile home in Sonoma, versus a typical home in LA?


Save by Genability is a new initiative that sheds light on key questions homeowners have when considering solar. Underlying the Save website is OpenSavings, an open source API created by Genability to help the solar industry quickly figure out location specific metrics that drive solar adoption: electricity costs, solar costs, system production and how popular solar is in the area. Simply input a zip code and get location and building specific cost savings data in an accurate and easy to use format. This data can be useful in several ways, including to baseline electricity costs, identify new solar markets, or to better target solar lead generation.

SF City Rank

OpenSavings ranks cities based on their potential aggregate solar savings, which takes into account each city’s specific building mix and the percentage of the total stock occupied by owners. To do this, Genability combined utility rate and typical usage data, with PVWattsOpenPVCensus, and other data sets analyzed, to run and combine many cost savings scenarios.



Savings are broken down within a city based on building type and usage scenario. Since most homeowners are unfamiliar with their usage, or energy consumption, Genability provides cost savings results for typical homes (attached or detached home, apartment in a small or large building, and mobile home), with low, high and average usage scenarios. Keep in mind that OpenSavings results are not site specific but represent average cases. In the future, we plan to evaluate many more scenarios (e.g., different system designs and tariff switches) to provide richer and more granular data.

OpenSavings data is currently available for CA but we plan to expand coverage nationally over the coming months, with priority on the top 25 solar states. Sign up at Save by Genability if you’d like us to keep you posted on our progress.

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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.


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, which offers a “solar-ownership-as-a-service” loan, has integrated the Switch APIs into the EmpowerPortal – their residential solar platform.  Dividend operates in over 30 states with a network of almost 100 installation partners.

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.


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 five 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.


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 five 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.


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:


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  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

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 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

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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