- Sunrun’s sales in California were below expectations in Q2/2023, but sales outside the state remain promising
- It reported 20% annual growth in customer tally, taking the total to 869,464 at the end of the reporting quarter
- Q3/2023 solar energy installation guidance is between 255 MW and 275 MW, while annual guidance for 2023 is maintained
Leading US residential solar and storage system installer Sunrun added 39,755 new customers in Q2/2023, taking its cumulative count to 869,464, growing 20% annually even as sales within California, the largest residential solar market in the US, were down for the company. Sales outside of California were robust with 25% YoY growth which gives it the confidence to reiterate annual guidance.
Ex-California sales maintained their growth through June and July. Nonetheless, management said its recent sales performance in California is encouraging. Even though volumes are lower than expected, the rapid uptake of higher margin battery systems is an attractive value, it explained.
California is also seeing strong storage attachment rates that were over 80%, representing a mix of more than 30% for backup and around 50% for Sunrun Shift.
“While sales in California in Q2 were below our initial expectations following the transition to the new Net Billing Tariff, our team is focused on generating value for shareholders, as we execute against our disciplined, margin-focused growth strategy,” said CEO Mary Powell.
However, it has reduced footprint in Arizona, shifting to an affiliate partner-led strategy here saying it needs to prioritize margins and balance growth.
Sunrun installed 296.6 MW of new solar energy capacity, exceeding the higher end of the guidance thanks to strong outperformance in the company’s affiliate partner channel, it explained. At the end of June 2023, its total installed solar capacity reached 6.204 GW (see Sunrun Reports $590 Million Q1/2023 Revenues).
Storage capacity grew by 35% annually to 102.6 MWh, taking the cumulative to 918 MWh.
Revenues during the reporting quarter grew 1% YoY to $590.2 million, comprising $302.1 million customer agreements and incentives (16% YoY growth) and $288 million solar energy systems and product sales (11% YoY drop).
Total cost of revenue went up 9% annually to $539.2 million, as total operating expenses grew 8% to $796.1 million.
Meanwhile, the residential solar installer continues to focus on strategic priorities as it calls them. With electric utility PG&E, it has started an exclusive partnership in California where its customers have started sharing excess solar energy generated by their rooftop panels with their neighbors with an enrollment of 8,500 and 34 MW. It can supply clean energy to the grid between 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm to support the electric network.
Through its 37% shareholding in Lunar Energy, Sunrun says it is accelerating home electrification. Similarly, it is a preferred installer of Ford Intelligent Backup Power which lets it provide options for solar and storage systems to the customers.
Sunrun continues to expect annual installation growth for its solar energy capacity for 2023 to fall within the range of 10% to 15%. For Q3/2023, the solar installation guidance is for 255 MW to 275 MW. Net subscriber value is expected to be materially higher in H2 this year, as compared to H1.
Sunrun’s strategy got a word of praise from financial analyst Philip Shen of ROTH MKM who said, “We’re not concerned by the light Q3 volumes as we recognize it as a transition period as installation cycles lengthen on the more complicated battery installations.” He added, “We look forward to Q4 as a catch-up quarter, and the company has an implied Q4 guide of 313 MW (+18% q/q vs. 5-year avg of +8% q/q, +14% y/y). All in, management is executing in this tough environment.”