Customer Case Study: SunGreen Systems Utilizes Energy Toolbase to Streamline the Project Development Process & Close More Deals
by Monette Meier on May 30, 2017
solar project development
Solar Sales Software
In the first installment of our new “Customer Case Study” series, we’ll highlight how our platform enabled SunGreen Systems to improve accuracy and build customer trust. Each month we’ll feature a different Energy Toolbase customer and provide background on the company, the market segment they focus on, and what benefits they’ve derived from our platform.
SunGreen Systems is a leading, full-service renewable energy development company based in Southern California. SunGreen works with a wide variety of commercial and industrial (C&I) clients to develop, design, and implement the best renewable energy solutions for their needs, including solar PV systems, smart battery systems, LED lighting, cool roofs, and other sustainable energy upgrades. SunGreen primarily focuses on solar projects ranging in size from 250 kW to 2 MW.
The company was founded over 7 years ago by a group of colleagues with backgrounds in construction, architecture, and real estate development. The company prides itself for being committed to sustainability while remaining on the cutting edge of technology and system design. Their team of designers, engineers, and consultants provide clients with customized, reliable solutions that meet their needs and help improve the environment.
Speed and Accuracy
Prior to adopting Energy Toolbase, SunGreen Systems utilized Excel spreadsheets to run ‘utility rate’ and ‘avoided cost’ analysis for their projects. “Our old processes were not very efficient and allowed for many different types of errors,” said Rob Thomasian, SunGreen’s C&I Solar Project Developer Manager. “In addition to significantly speeding up our savings analysis process, Energy Toolbase has given us a higher level or accuracy and rigor in our modeling”. Since adopting Energy Toolbase, SunGreen has significantly reduced their proposal turnaround time and increased their closing rate. Thomasian estimates that it took SunGreen 8 to 16 hours to prepare a sales proposal before Energy Toolbase, versus only 1 to 2 hours today.
"Energy Toolbase has sped up our analysis process, helped us close more projects and be more accurate in our offerings."
- Rob Thomasian, Solar Project Development Manager, SunGreen Systems
Running accurate savings analysis is one thing, clearly presenting and explaining it to a customer is another. This is especially true in C&I project development, where it’s critical to clearly and transparently illustrate complex topics like demand charges and rate switching scenarios via the proposal. “The analysis we put in front of the customer has to be clear, transparent, and easy to follow” said John Hoffman, SunGreen Systems CEO. Both Thomasian and Hoffman noted that SunGreen has received strong positive feedback from customers once they begun generating sales proposals with Energy Toolbase.
Before using Energy Toolbase, SunGreen had a hard time justifying any demand reduction from solar. “To be conservative we generally assumed a 0% reduction. However, with Energy Toolbase we can fully justify a kW demand reduction from PV, and then validate the math to a customer in the proposal by showing the graphs and visuals we produce in Energy Toolbase,” said Hoffman. It’s important to qualify any project economic outputs with data and shows step-by-step how a specific number was calculated.
"Our experience is that if the customer has any doubt or confusion regarding the savings, they are unlikely to move forward. Energy Toolbase helps remove that doubt."
- John Hoffman, CEO, SunGreen Systems
YKK, an international manufacturer, bid out its solar project for its facility in Anaheim, California through a highly competitive RFP process. Throughout the bidding and development process, SunGreen had to earn the trust of YKK, at the building operator level in Anaheim, the North American headquarters level in Georgia, and at the firm's International headquarters in Japan. “The customer was very detail-oriented and made numerous data requests during their diligence process. Their CFO requested we export our cashflow table into an editable excel sheet for them to analyze,” said Hoffman. “We later heard that they were impressed with the cash flow analysis that we calculated via Energy Toolbase and that numerous flaws had been found in competing bids”. SunGreen eventually won the project by offering the best solution at the best price. Leveraging Energy Toolbase, SunGreen was able to present an accurate and transparent analysis, ultimately earning the trust of the customer.