NRG moves deeper into U.S. residential solar with Pure Energies acquisition


U.S. energy company NRG has announced the acquisition of residential solar company Pure Energies Group, which it will combine with its Residential Solar Solutions division and Roof Diagnostics Solar to create a “one-stop-shop” for prospective solar customers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Pure Energies uses an online platform to provide potential customers with a detailed analysis of the feasibility of installing a PV system based in part on their energy needs. NRG says that the company's process will help NRG Home Solar to bring down customer acquisition costs and simplify the process for homeowners.

NRG Home Solar CEO Kelcy Pelger says that he expects Pure Energies' online approach to be especially important in targeting younger consumers, noting trends in other industries. “We tie that closely to a company like Netflix and its impact on the cable companies,” Pelger explained to PV Magazine.

The company also expects Pure Energies' web presence to provide a sales channel for its Goal Zero line of portable solar and energy storage products, as well as its retail electricity businesses. While many privately-owned U.S. utilities are fighting regulatory battles against rooftop solar, NRG has gone the other direction, investing heavily in both residential and utility-scale solar.

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NRG has developed third-party solar capabilities through Residential Solar Solutions, and Pelger says that he expects third-party transactions to represent almost all of Home Solar's business in the near term.

The company has not disclosed the market share of either its Residential Solar Solutions business or Roof Diagnostics before the acquisition, but says that it will provide details of sales volumes for Home Solar in the conference call accompanying its next quarterly financial results. Overall, the company is bullish on future prospects.

“The acquisition of Pure Energies completes the capabilities that we think are necessary to win in this space,” says Pelger. “Together our whole industry has only put solar on about 1% of the houses available today. We think 2015 could be really limitless in the potential for NRG Home Solar to make its mark.”

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