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Optimizing your Customer Acquisition Efforts: Lessons from Research and Practice


This Webinar is open to SEIA members and non-members

Originally recorded: Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. EST

Acquiring and converting solar customers is a key challenge for solar installation companies. Despite a 41% drop in the average price of a residential PV installation since 2010, solar adoption among residential consumers is still slowed by inefficient customer acquisition practices. Solar companies pay from $0.40/W-$0.90/W per customer, or $1,600-$3,600 per 4 KW system.

Participants learn from leading experts how to cut down on customer acquisition costs. James Tong, vice president of strategy at Clean Power Finance, shares his insights from his work with National Renewable Energy Labs to understand the drivers of consumer adoption of solar, which was funded by the Department of Energy SunShot Initiative.  Omer Atesmen, President and Co-Founder of Clean Energy Experts, will show his data from thousands of successful solar customer conversions to help optimize your conversation rates.

Next, Bryn Baker will walk us through one of the most exciting projects we’ve heard of in a while--the first nationwide bulk solar purchase program, which offers a uniform discounted price to the employees of 3M, Cisco, Kimberly-Clark and the National Geographic Society. Finally, Susanna Murley will discuss the innovative I LIKE SOLAR project from SEIA and The Climate Group, which seeks to use Facebook’s social network to accelerate solar adoption throughout the US.


James Tong is vice president of strategy at Clean Power Finance, where he leads industry-wide efforts to accelerate solar deployment and reduce frictional "soft costs." He has designed and led three projects awarded a total of $4.5MM from the Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, and is currently a principal investigator in a $2.3MM research led by NREL to understand the drivers of consumer adoption of solar. James has spoken at various conferences, including Solar Power International and the White House Solar Summit, and is finalist for the 2014 or the Platts Global Energy Awards Rising Star. Prior to entering the solar industry, he served in various management positions at GE, where he completed its elite commercial leadership development program. James earned a BA in economics from Yale University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Omer Atesmen is a President and Co-Founder of Clean Energy Experts. Prior to co-founding Clean Energy Experts, Omer headed the west coast division of a private equity backed online marketing agency. He was a Project Leader at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) advising Fortune 100 consumer and media companies on business strategy. Earlier, Omer was an Electro-Mechanical Engineer and Engineering Manager at Velocity11 which was acquired by Agilent Technologies in 2007. He completed a MBA and Masters in Engineering Management at The Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University where he majored in Finance, Marketing and Strategy. He holds a M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

Bryn Baker is a manager for WWF's Renewable Energy Program in Washington D.C. Bryn's focus is on working with businesses to set aggressive renewable energy and climate goals and to work with companies and other stakeholders to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy to meet those goals. Prior to joining WWF, Bryn's work was at the intersection of clean energy and development, working for the Overseas Development Institute in London on low carbon development pathways and the International Resources Group and USAID to launch the first regional climate and energy program in Southeast Asia. Bryn has also worked for the Rocky Mountain Institute consulting on corporate climate strategies and for the Wind Powering America program at the National Wind Technology Center, part of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. She holds a Masters in Environmental Policy from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Susanna Murley is the digital media director at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a national trade association representing the 5,600 solar businesses that make up the U.S. solar industry. She is responsible for developing and executing online strategies for a wide range of SEIA activities, including federal and state advocacy, data visualization, and online communication strategies. In this role, she has pioneered the use of Google Hangouts as a way to engage top reporters from national publications and train corporate solar communicators across the U.S. in online solar marketing strategies. Since coming to SEIA, she has launched a blog, online mapping tools and video content as well as increased web traffic fourfold and added at least 300,000 new followers across SEIA's social media platforms.


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