Mark: I had attended the pitch sessions the previous year, and I was impressed with the ideas and energy that the teams brought to SunCode, and I knew that I wanted to participate next year. Our other team members did not have solar experience, but were very interested in the renewables space and wanted to compete.
Why did you build SolarMaps?
We built SolarMaps, because we recognized that the methods solar developers are currently using to reach customers are expensive and outdated. Many customers find the process of installing solar on their home intimidating and frustrating. We wanted to give customers a better way to adopt a great product that would also bring down the costs of the solar developers.
How did you build SolarMaps?
We started out by prototyping the UI on Sketch and then built it with Ruby on Rails as our front end and backend.
How did you use UtilityAPI? What was the experience like?
I have used UtilityAPI in my professional work to gather the utility data of a wide array of commercial clients interested in going solar (schools, municipalities, large enterprise customers, agricultural customers, etc.). UtilityAPI is orders of magnitude superior to requesting user data from the utilities directly. I can say with confidence that UtilityAPI has allowed people to go solar who would otherwise have been too frustrated by the process of gathering utility bills to actually get to the point of installation. It’s really a dramatic process improvement.
What advice would you give to others who may attend a cleanweb hackathon?
They are a great opportunity to share your ideas with dozens of very smart people with a huge range of experiences in the clean technologies space. No one brings a perfect idea or concept to a hackathon, and I would encourage people to attend, participate, and be open to the contributions of others.
- Mark Bachman-3.5 years in the solar space (residential and commercial)
- Matt Privman-Diverse experience with different technology startups, but no solar experience.
- Dmitry Filimonov-No solar experience, currently working at a technology firm in SF
- Sharad Bagri-No solar experience, but very experienced electronic design verification engineer
We’re looking forward to collaborating with UtilityAPI, because we share the commitment to making it easier for people to go solar.