Skip to content

Independent Solar Teams Up with Sunnova Energy in a Groundbreaking Partnership Across Arizona

Tech Times

For the past eight years, Independent Solar has been holding a masterclass on running a business against industry norms and providing exceptional service to its clients, the industry, and the people who work there. The company operates in the solar field, selling solar systems to customers in Arizona and Nevada, and is soon to be in Texas and Florida.

In solar, empty promises traditionally reign over ethics and customer care, so if a business decides to turn that premise on its head, it’ll stick out as a sore thumb, and someone will notice.

“A handful of great companies are out there, but they’re not the norm. What you find is that the lenders love you. The utility companies love you. The building departments love you,” explains Randy French, the founder of Independent Solar. “If you’re doing it right, you create this wonderful wave of credibility.”

Riding that wave of credibility, the company secured a very sought-after business opportunity. Realized in partnership with Sunnova Energy, a nationally prominent entity in the solar energy field, Independent Solar will be present in 35 big box stores across Arizona.

“As a national solar lender, Sunnova searches out the most credible competent installers and dealers to represent them,” says French. “So there’s another layer of credibility that Sunnova chose us because of our credibility to represent Sunnova.”

The deal that Independent Solar realized was chased by larger, more powerful entities in the solar space. For French and his partners at the company, it was a significant vote of confidence that they were chosen, validating their idea that it can pay off to do solar with a long-term strategy focusing on consumer protection and happiness instead of earning a quick buck.

It might also indicate that solar space is finally ready for a much-needed change. The industry has always had a reputation for aggressive sales tactics that left customers feeling like they didn’t get what they believed they were getting. This led to numerous complaints and investigations, some resulting in company bankruptcies.

“In our space, the regulatory winds are blowing, and they’re lopping off the heads of these horrible companies,” French says. “The industry has a 30% cancellation rate. It goes as high as 50%, but the average is 30%. Our cancellation rate has never gone over 20%, and that’s for a month. There have been years in our history where we only have a 2% cancellation rate.”

And it seems like keeping things clean and honest has paid off for Independent Solar. The company is getting ready to staff its 35 big box retailer locations—it doesn’t happen overnight, as French points out—and it firmly believes that, if it had a more national footprint, its reputation would allow the deal to extend to markets beyond the region. Whether that will happen after Independent Solar’s expansion to Texas and Florida is yet to be seen. What’s sure is that the customers who see them can be safe knowing that they’re dealing with a company that doesn’t put integrity over profits—and manages to get plenty of both.

Register for the Council’s upcoming Phoenix and Tucson tech events and Optics Valley optics + photonics events.


Sign up for our