Startup Spotlight: ZOLAR makes purchasing solar systems easy

Every house will have a solar and battery system one day!
This is the vision of Alex Melzer, CEO and Co-Founder of ZOLAR. Many companies, startups and even politicians did or do have this vision. Nevertheless the big “solar-disruption” did not happen so far, at least when it comes to private households. But this is about to change: ZOLAR makes it as easy as possible for everyone owning a house to configure and buy a solar and storage system online and get it installed. This makes shopping your own solar system just as easy as shopping your next book on Amazon. Have a look at their web page – but first read what Alex has to say about how ZOLAR will accelerate the energy transition.

Describe your product and its history! What is your unique value proposition and your business model?

When we started developing ZOLAR we realized that residential homeowners were unable to purchase customized solar and battery systems online. Solar installers would send pre-defined system quotes via .pdf, which gave the customer no option to choose from. There was no convenient way to configure an individual solar system online and get a guaranteed price for the installation of the system.

Therefore, it is all about the customer experience. ZOLAR strives to create an outstanding experience for residential home owners purchasing a solar system. With the help of the ZOLAR online configurator an individual solar system optimized out of thousands of input parameters and products is created online. The home owner can then customize the system based on personal preference and download a fixed price offer for the system including installation. Financing and other options can also be selected within the configurator. ZOLAR makes buying a solar system as simple as booking a flight online.

What is your vision in regards to the future of the energy economy? And how does your product contribute to this future?

We believe that every residential house in Europe will have a solar and battery system one day. Houses will become mostly independent from the electrical grid and may even be able to provide enough power for individual transportation with electric cars as well. As of last year, it is cheaper for house owners to consume their own electricity produced with solar and battery storage than purchasing it from an energy provider.
In this respect, the ZOLAR online configurator provides the home owner a convenient and compelling purchase experience.

What are, in your opinion, the key challenges of the energy transition in general, and what are they specifically for your startup?

The key challenge of the energy transition has always been the regulatory framework, which in many countries has stalled or hindered the development of the renewable energies for a long time. However, renewables have become so affordable that for example for small-scale applications they will soon be able to operate outside any regulatory framework and still be more competitive than large conventional power generation. Renewable systems such as residential solar and battery systems are not only cheaper but they also provide independence and security.

Where are you based, and who are the key innovation drivers in the energy ecosystem in your region?

ZOLAR is based in Berlin, Germany. The main driver in our region are startups like Thermondo, Tado or Sonnen, which challenge the existing energy ecosystem by providing innovative solutions and therefore creating value for the energy users. We have been largely inspired by Thermondo breaking the ice for vertically integrated startups in an e-commerce dominated landscape in Berlin.

ZOLAR makes purchasing a solar and battery system for residential home owners as simple as possible. The ZOLAR online configurator proposes an individual solar system optimized out of thousands of products. The home owner can customize the system based on their personal preference and download a fixed price offer for the system including installation. Financing and other options can also be selected within the configurator.

ZOLAR is a one-stop shop simplifying the way solar systems are purchased and installed. We believe every house will have a solar and battery system one day.

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