By: Kelly Hodgkins
Boston-based startup Yeloha has a novel idea for expanding solar power in cities — sharing. We already share apartments, cars, and bikes, so why not solar panels, too. Instead of using a central solar source like SolarPerks, Yeloha crowdsources the technology by connecting individuals together and encouraging them to share in the solar power revolution. Yeloha serves as a middleman helping people with rooftops to install solar panels and connecting these panel owners with consumers who want to utilize this sustainable energy source.
For the system to work, Yeloha relies on customers with solar panels, aka “Sun Hosts,” to provide the electricity that is shared among the Yeloha community. These Sun Hosts use the energy that is generated by their solar panels to reduce their own electric bills as well as share the supply with the community. To make it as easy as possible for Sun Hosts to join the network, Yeloha will take the lead in the solar panel installation process at no charge to the home or building owner. The company will find a local installer, apply for the required permits, and arrange for the full installation. They even will help with bill management so hosts can keep their same utility company.
Consumers who want to find a clean energy source, but don’t have a rooftop can join the Solar Sharing Network as a Sun Partner. The Sun Partner can purchase the cleaner and cheaper energy that is being produced by the solar panels on someone else’s roof. All you need is an Internet connection and a few minutes of your time to secure your solar energy source. It’s a win-win situation that brings solar energy and its cost savings to a broad range of people who would otherwise be using non-renewably generated electricity from the local utility company.
Yeloha is still in the beta stage, so its network of solar panel hosts is small, but growing rapidly as interest in the service climbs. It must be doing something right though, as the company recently received $3.5 million in funding to help it expand its network of Solar Hosts and Partners.