From pv magazine USA
Sungevity was founded in 2007 and was once the fifth-largest solar installer in the United States – but its story is now over.
After two rounds of unannounced mass layoffs, a name change, and what was once a very promising future, Sungevity is now defunct. The final round of layoffs for the remaining employees took place on Nov. 24, followed by the announcement on Dec. 1 that a public auction will be held on Dec. 7 to divvy up the company’s remaining assets.
As for the recently displaced employees, the timing of the layoffs meant that on Nov. 30, less than a week after losing their jobs, many were left without company-provided insurance. And since Sungevity no longer exists, these employees are not eligible for the continuation of health coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.
Two sources close to the company, both of whom requested anonymity, told pv magazine that hundreds of former Sungevity customers have been left hanging on incomplete installations. These installations, according to the sources, had been handled by third-party installers for quite some time, but these installers were met by the company’s complete closure without warning. As a result, reportedly “hundreds” of installations have been left incomplete, nowhere near achieving permission to operate.
Left in limbo
One such customer told pv magazine that his residential solar+storage project, purchased from Sungevity but installed by a third-party contractor, is nearly complete. But he has not received final permit approval, leaving him ineligible to qualify for Pacific Gas and Electric’s net-metering program. He said that his concerns have gone unanswered from Sungevity since Nov. 23.
Rather than being left entirely in the dark, the customer reached out to the California Solar and Storage Association. He said that the group seemed “interested and willing to persuade the sub-contractor that did the actual installation to participate in the final inspection of my system by the city, so I can get certified for net-metering with PG&E.”
It’s not just the customers and employees that have been left hanging, as many of the sub-contractors installing for Sungevity have been left with unpaid bills. One source listed nine such contractors who have been left out to dry financially. While this marks the end of the line for Sungevity, hundreds of customers, employees, investors and sub-contractors are now left looking for ways to finish their installations, get paid and, in some cases, get the last of their personal belongings out of the now-locked former offices.
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