As the U.S. economy moves away from fossil fuels and towards greater electrification, an array of renewable energy technologies will be required to meet demand. With more than 10,000 companies in the residential solar business, the market is ripe for consolidation, according to Wil Ralston, CEO and director of Phoenix-based SinglePoint.  

“On the residential and small commercial installation side, a lot of [solar companies] are family-owned,” he explains. “They’ve been in the business for a while, and they might have multiple investors. We saw the opportunity to acquire these businesses and find synergies to help scale and grow them. At the end of the day, the goal is to become the first fully national business doing residential and small commercial solar [engineering, procurement and construction].”  

Ralston sees the solar and renewable energy market as the right place to keep growing the company and wants to focus on creating more sustainable solutions for energy procurement and consumption.  

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“We want to breed the next wave of this transition by being able to set the trend for utilizing a new energy source, knowing that it’s going to take time and there will be multiple different avenues,” Ralston says. “But right now, solar is the tried-and-true renewable energy solution that can be deployed and scaled immediately. And there’s opportunity within this market to make that process more streamlined and efficient, which is what we’ve built our plan around.” 

According to Ralston, there are about 200 companies in the market right now that fit SinglePoint’s optimal acquisition target: having more than $10 million in revenue, being cashflow positive and having great credibility. 

Reputation is important because there is a lot of complexity in the residential solar market that can make it difficult for consumers to make an informed purchase. More transparency in the process, Ralston says, can help people feel more comfortable with what is ultimately a financial decision.  

There are also regulatory hurdles to consider. For example, SinglePoint recently acquired Boston Solar — which has grown from $17 million to more than $30 million in revenue in two years. In Boston, there are 132 entities known as Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs), which Ralston describes as “essentially governing bodies for each district.” 

“You can have different interpretations of rules of things such as fire setbacks, or how a battery can be installed in a garage — or that they can’t be installed in a garage at all,” he continues. “In Arizona — until recently — our electricity was so cheap that it was hard for people to justify going solar. Also, sometimes it’s not the right solution aesthetically for some people yet. Those are some of the main hurdles out there right now.” 

Under Ralston’s leadership, SinglePoint recently achieved an impressive landmark by becoming the first U.S. company listed on the Cboe BZX Exchange. 

“That’s an incredible milestone and something to be proud of as a local company,” he concludes. “We’re looking at multiple companies here in Phoenix, and we’re going to continue to plant our flag in Arizona.”