In 2009, Sara Ross and her husband bought a dilapidated farmhouse in Massachusetts, intending to turn it into a net-zero-energy home.
Solar was an important part of the plan. And then came the price tag: $81,000 in cash. Their localsolarinstaller had no financing options available at that time.
Ross cobbled the money together, but she became obsessed with the buying process: “How are other members of our family going to do this? How are our friends supposed to do this? How is this supposed to work? How are we going to scale this awesome thing if it’s so very hard?”
Finally, she harnessed that obsession (and her six-year-old daughter’s college fund) and started a solar loan company, Sungage Financial. This was before anyone else was serious about solar loans. Today, more rooftop solar in the U.S. is financed through loans than leases.
In this week’s edition of the live podcast series Watt It Takes, Ross sits down with Powerhouse CEO Emily Kirsch to discuss how she built Sungage — evolving from solar customer to solar entrepreneur.
Watt It Takes is a live interview series produced by Powerhouse in partnership with GTM. The conversation was recorded live in Oakland, California.
This podcast is also brought to you by Shoals, the gold standard for solar and storage balance-of-systems solutions. Learn more about how Shoals can make your project operate at the highest level.
This podcast is brought to you by Fiveworx, a turnkey customer engagement platform for utilities. Find out more about how Fiveworx can help your customer engagement program succeed — and get you beyond the meter.
Listen to our other episodes of Watt It Takes:
- Nancy Pfund’s Pro Tips for Getting Started in Cleantech
- SunPower Founder Dick Swanson’s Guide to Launching a Cleantech Startup
- Lessons From the Fall of Sungevity
- Dan Shugar, the King Midas of Solar
- A History of Greentech Media With Scott Clavenna
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