Smart. Reliable. Solar. For more than a decade, residential and commercial solar installer Renu Energy Solutions has delivered on this promise to more than 4,500 homeowners and businesses throughout the Carolinas – and Renu shows no sign of slowing.
February 20, 2023
Installer Spotlight: Renu Energy Solutions
Quality in-house service
Founded in 2010 by company President Jay Radcliffe, Renu offers customized turn-key solar, energy storage, and EV charging solutions across the Carolinas, as well as comprehensive system maintenance and repair through its sister company, Sun Service Specialists. Some installers outsource their technical services to sub-contractors, but Renu does all of its design, installation, and maintenance services in-house. This means that each system is in Renu’s expert hands at every step of the process, ensuring strict adherence to the highest quality and safety standards. The Renu team is more than qualified to deliver excellent technical services: they are a Licensed General Contractor and Electrical Contractor and have NABCEP-certified employees.
Renu’s dedication to quality in-house services has earned it a glowing reputation – including hundreds of 5-star reviews – which has accelerated its expansion across the Carolinas. In fact, it earned Charlotte Business Journal’s Fast 50 Award last year for its impressive revenue growth, company leadership, and contribution to the Greater Charlotte community. To date, Renu has installed more than 30 megawatts of solar capacity in North and South Carolina.
A true solar advocate
Renu’s Director of New Business Capabilities, John Sheldon, sees Renu’s vertically integrated approach as one of the many ways that the company creates a quality customer experience. “A solar business can be complex, but with Renu’s in-house services, we have the ability to control quality from start to finish,” said John in a recent conversation with Enphase. “And solar is first and foremost about the customer.”
John joined Renu five years ago as a seasoned solar expert with an incredible passion for promoting renewable energy solutions. Inspired by the film “An Inconvenient Truth” as a student, he spearheaded Miami-based Florida International University’s first renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives. In 2007, he also started a sustainability club to promote awareness and organize action on campus which led to the University’s first solar powered house. “At the time, there wasn’t a lot of talk about climate change or being ‘green’, but I learned that my house at sea level could be washed away, gas prices were going up, and we ultimately needed to find a better and more sustainable energy solution,” he said.
After graduation in 2008, John booked a one-way flight to Silicon Valley California, the heart of the nation’s burgeoning solar market. “California was like ‘the future’ of solar, and I felt like I could build value by bringing my knowledge of it back home,” he said. A decade later, he was back home on the East Coast, applying his deep expertise in residential solar sales, marketing, and operations to foster business development and scalability at Renu.
“We’ve made some great progress! One of my biggest accomplishments at Renu so far has been to reduce installs from 60-90 days to under 40 days,” he smiled. “And we are doing it cleanly, safely, and providing a great experience to our customers throughout the whole process. It makes me so happy because it means that we are helping our customers save money, our partners are benefitting from the increased efficiency, and the American solar industry is continuing to fight climate change.”
Enphase partner through the years
When his first solar employer introduced him to early Enphase microinverters back in 2008, John immediately knew that they were the future. “Up until that point, everything was string inverters,” he recalled. “We used the ‘Christmas lights’ analogy to show that a microinverter system would keep producing solar even if a single panel wasn’t working.” His company was so excited about them that it even experimented with pre-attaching microinverters to each panel to facilitate the install process – a step that was later adopted and integrated in-house by Enphase.
Today, John continues to have a strong Enphase partnership through Renu. “In many cases Enphase microinverter solutions will typically see higher production, which means that the customer can save more on their utility bill,” he stated.
“It’s easy for us to recommend Enphase because of their warranty, which adds a piece of mind on top of the microinverter’s scalability, reliability, and production benefits.”
Our collective future
The solar industry’s rapid growth has been exciting for John, and he continues to focus on identifying new software, technology, and partnership opportunities that will help Renu expand its reach. “It’s so cool to see how far the industry has come,” he marveled. “There are 25 systems right in my own neighborhood, and there are all sorts of cool new technologies that I could have only dreamed of back when I first started in this space.”
However, he maintains that most of the industry’s growth and innovation is yet to come. “We are in the second inning of a nine-inning game,” he commented. “We are certainly in this for the long haul. And this solar race is not just a race for a better economy – it’s a race for our collective future. The industry needs to continue to focus on reliability, pricing, the customer experience, and transparency throughout the process. That’s what Renu aims to deliver.”