By Guest Writer
The word “Sprightful” refers to the quality of being lively, energetic, and bright.
There may be no better words to name this solar energy startup or describe its two co-founders who have made residential rooftops of South Florida their canvas on which they are building a sustainable carbon-free future.
Sprightful was founded in 2015 on the premise that “solar should be simple.” Sprightful, which started as a solar installation company, is now a team of 10 moving toward building the solar energy ecosystem in South Florida by addressing existing pain points and barriers of solar installation for homeowners.
Tara Sibel Demren, who leads the Sprightful’s growth strategy, highlights three specific pain points that discourages people from implementing solar in their homes. First and most prominent is financing, as “people have to buy the installation or get a loan. Return-on-investment is not clear as a result,” she said. The second is the installation service delivery. “Many third-party providers just install and then they leave without further support. It’s not a reliable process and leads to conflicts of interest. Companies want to get the most money while people want to keep the costs low. Even big brands like Tesla use third-party contractors.” Third but not least is the transfer of ownership, as people have to eat the costs of commitment, such as financial loans and physical maintenance, for themselves.
Sprightful addresses these concerns through its "Savings Sharing Plan," where the startup keeps the installation process in-house, and ultimately shares ownership and maintenance of the installation with an option for clients to buy back the installation at the time of property sale. The company removes the risk from homeowners “by investing and owning the panels, and sharing the savings with homeowners from the very first utility bill.” Clients get to go green without risk, and Sprightful handles the asset management while giving full transparency into their energy consumption and financial savings.
“How do we make it super simple for people to say ‘Wow, going solar makes sense’? We’ve turned it into such a no-brainer it’s impossible to say ‘No’ to. Who wouldn’t want lower electricity costs while taking advantage of resources that are already there?,” says Pablo Corredor. His passion for solar started at University of Florida building solar panel prototypes, which led him to found Sprightful in 2015 as soon as he graduated.
Half of Sprightful's team of 10 work at the startup's South Florida HQ and the other half are on the ground as installers, Demren said. Sprightful is also working with a software firm that has devoted two developers to Sprightful's projects at this time.
Before Sprightful, Demren founded a startup for excess food distribution for college students that won 2nd place in the Miami Herald’s Business Plan Challenge in 2017. She graduated from the Honors College in 2018 and worked in a corporate development firm before making her choice to stay in Miami and propel Sprightful into its new direction. She is also an artist, writer and poet.
Sprightful is currently beta-testing a mobile application that connects its Savings Sharing Plan clients to real-time data visualizations about their energy consumption and energy savings. The team hopes that this will give people insights into how solar is changing their lives and share that story to create a community of solar energy enthusiasts.
In the “Sunshine State” where less than 1% of the power comes from solar, Corredor has been adamant about the opportunity to grow the industry. “It’s philosophically incredible that we can actually own our energy ... We don’t have to worry about anything with sunlight on tap. If that’s not magic I don’t know what is.”