Sunrun CEO: Comcast will use solar to reduce churn in home automation


On the day her company announced a deal to exclusively license its rooftop solar panels to Comcast, Sunrun CEO Lynn Jurich told reporters that bundling solar service into the cable company’s home automation portfolio will reduce churn. 

“What Comcast found is that when they marketed Sunrun to their customer base, and customers chose to go solar, it improved their customer satisfaction scores [and] their customer retention,” Jurich told Multichannel News, describing a yearlong pilot partnership between Sunrun and Comcast that led to the deal. 

RELATED: Comcast partners with SunRun to market residential solar

On Thursday, Comcast announced that it had entered into a 40-month agreement to make San Francisco-based Sunrun its exclusive supplier of rooftop solar panels. Comcast said it will begin marketing systems based on Sunrun’s panels in “selected markets” later this year. 

Under terms of the deal, Comcast will need to commit to spending $10 million on sales and marketing to receive a cut of consumer sales. Comcast will also acquire as much as 9.99% of Sunrun’s stock if it can lock down 60,000 customers. The portion of the deal is prorated—Comcast gets 5% if it acquires 30,000 customers, for example. 

Shares in Sunrun rose as much as 10% in the immediate aftermath of the announcement Thursday. 

Sunrun has about 150,000 customers in 22 states. Comcast serves around 27 million customers, and about 1 million in the more specific realm of home automation. 

“Comcast has the install base and the marketing arm,” Jurich told Bloomberg. “We have a product people want.”