AOL's CD campaign towards Web domination helped them grow their user base from 200,000 to 20 millions. Considering the similarities between internet market in the 1990s and the solar market today, we believe a similar marketing approach in solar can be a game changer.

How it works

We mail mini solar chargers (like AOL mailed CDs) to residents of a certain area with solar-friendly electricity tariffs. The solar charger allows users to take a quick measurement of solar radiation in their house. The solar charger comes with a unique id number sticked on the back. Users can go to our website, insert that unique identifier and input their address. Then we use the NREL and Google APIs (Google Maps, PV Watts, DSire) to give an instant estimate of their monthly and yearly savings on their electricity bill in addition to the list of financial incentives to which they may qualify.

Challenges we ran into

Figuring out what was the key reason(s) why AOL's campaign was successful and how to replicate that in the solar market at a minimum cost.

Accomplishments that We are proud of

Coming up with an out-of-the-box idea and reducing it to practice. The feedback we got from the mentors was particularly overwhelming.

What we learned

We learned more about the challenges associated with customer acquisition in the solar market especially during the discussions with the mentors. We have also learned a lot from each other especially that we have completely different skill sets: hardware, software, design, UX, etc.

What's next for You've Got Sun

We'll see ...

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