Veregy is a newish energy services company (ESCO) with a much longer history. The company started in 2019 after six regional ESCOs merged to offer energy optimization and performance contracting to commercial clients nationwide. One of those companies was a commercial solar installer out of Arizona, and the new Veregy now focuses on a holistic energy package for customers — with energy efficiency, solar, smart building integration, maintenance services and more.
In this episode of the Contractor’s Corner podcast, John Mitman, VP of distributed energy resources for Veregy, describes the joining of knowledge and expertise as a way to better execute on customer goals. Now when K-12 school districts and healthcare institutions want to save money on their utility bills, the Veregy team can create a long-term strategy with multiple phases of energy conservation measures that may include solar arrays.
A portion of the interview is below, but be sure to listen to the full podcast for even more insight, including how energy storage fits into Veregy’s holistic energy approach.
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What did bringing all these companies together as one do for your solar business?
Coming from a solar developer perspective, we always had these conversations with our customers about what made the most sense in terms of timing for adopting solar and if they wanted to move forward with energy efficiency. With us all coming together, it’s really starting to bring that kind of holistic vision together. We have the full suite of energy efficiency solutions. You want to explore reduction of your energy before you start talking about production. We’re now one team in that conversation with the customer, rather than having separate competing interests. It’s tended to help us build out a much more successful national, master-planning, holistic provider type of role.
Many of your customers are public-facing like K-12 schools. How do you bring more public awareness to your solar projects with those customers?
We have a dedicated marketing group so we’re always looking for ways to engage the constituents of whatever public customer we’re working with. On the front-end, we try to hint at the upcoming project to get a little excitement built up and make sure the communities are on board with the initiative. We celebrate through ribbon-cutting events and press releases. Historically, solar kiosks were a custom piece of hardware that you put in your front office. Over the years, we’ve realized that unless the IT group of that entity is familiar with the [solar monitoring platform and kiosk] and actually in charge of making sure it works, those kiosks don’t actually stay fully operational. We [now] give those links to the custom web interface that tells the story about the project to them and they can put that on their own [devices[ they’re already implementing.
What product advances and trends are you looking to the future on?
If you were to ask most providers now, they would say how do you reduce balance of system costs. Solar modules and inverters, when you look at the whole equation, are 25% of it. But it’s the steel, the electrical bits that go into a system that I am interested in continuing to optimize. On the supply-chain front, solar modules are most commoditized — as long as you’re getting a tier 1 provider. Higher efficiency and power rating helps us to put the same power capacity in a lower footprint and therefore lower balance of system costs.