Contractor’s Corner: Veregy
Veregy is a fairly new energy services company (ESCO) with a much longer history. The company started operations in 2019 after six regional ESCOs merged to offer nationwide energy optimization and performance contracts to commercial customers. One of those companies was a commercial solar installer from Arizona, and the new Veregy now focuses on a holistic energy package for customers – with energy efficiency, solar energy, 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 pooling knowledge and expertise as a way to better achieve customer goals. When K-12 school districts and healthcare facilities want to save money on their utility bills, the Veregy team can develop a long-term strategy that includes multiple phases of energy-saving measures, including solar panels.
Part 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 do for your solar business?
From a solar developer’s perspective, we always had these conversations with our customers about what made the most sense in terms of timing for adopting solar and whether they wanted to make progress with energy efficiency. Now that we’re all coming together, it’s really starting to bring that kind of holistic vision together. We have the full range of energy efficiency solutions. You want to research reducing your energy before you talk about production. We are now one team in that conversation with the customer, instead of having separate competing interests. It tends to help us build a much more successful national, master planning, holistic provider type role.
Many of your clients are public, such as K-12 schools. How do you ensure more awareness of your solar energy projects among those customers?
We have a dedicated marketing group, so we are always looking for ways to engage voters with the public client we work with. Up front, we’re trying to hint at the upcoming project to build a little excitement and get the communities on board with the initiative. We celebrate this by cutting ribbons and issuing press releases. Historically, solar kiosks were a custom piece of hardware you placed in your front office. Over the years, we have realized that unless that entity’s IT group is familiar with the [solar monitoring platform and kiosk] and are actually responsible for making sure it works, those kiosks don’t really stay fully operational. We [now] provide those links to the custom web interface that tells the story about the project to them and they can do that on their own[devices[diezealimplementation[devices[they’realreadyimplementing[apparaten[diezealimplementeren[devices[they’realreadyimplementing
Which product developments and trends are you looking at in the future?
If you were to ask most providers now, they would say how to reduce the balance of system costs. Solar panels and inverters, if 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 want to keep optimizing. In terms of the supply chain, solar panels are the most common – as long as you get a tier 1 provider. Higher efficiency and higher power help us to fit the same power capacity in a smaller footprint and thus a lower balance of system costs.