- Demand for solar-energy systems has risen dramatically in light of the energy crisis.
- Enpal is a green-energy startup that aims to make solar power available to all consumers.
- The parents of Insider’s Steffen Bosse tested it out.
This is an edited, translated version of an article that originally appeared on October 5, 2022.
With the ongoing energy crisis, the demand for solar panels has been soaring.
Solar panels are difficult to test before you take the plunge due to their substantial cost and infrastructure. That’s why, when my parents were considering switching to solar, I asked them to document their experience.
They got a solar-energy system installed at their home through the German green-energy unicorn Enpal, a startup backed by SoftBank Vision Fund and HV Capital, among others.
The startup is aiming to make solar energy a realistic option for everyone via its solar-panel-rental model. Customers pay Enpal a monthly fee which covers the cost of panels, setup, and maintenance until customers have paid off the panels.
Though the startup currently only operates in Germany, Enpal executives plan to expand outside the country’s borders, Mario Kohle, the CEO of Enpal, told TechCrunch in a recent interview.
My parents’ house with Enpal’s solar panels fitted.
I’ve been following my parent’s experience with the company and asked them for their initial review of the product and the service.
“We wanted to make ourselves more independent,” my father said. He told me about their decision to get solar panels, adding that climate protection, the prospect of switching to an electric car, and increasing the value of the house also played roles in the decision.
Another view of my parents’ house and solar panels.
On July 1, my parents got a quote from Enpal
The company’s website asked my parents to set up an account and answer a few basic questions to get started, such as whether you have a gable or a flat roof if you have skylights, the number of occupants, and your consumer behavior, according to my father.
“Congratulations,” the website read, adding that a solar-power system could save them between 22,000 and 27,000 euros in electricity costs, though it failed to specify a time period for these savings.
The next step required my parents to upload pictures of their house and detail exactly what they wanted. They were keen to get panels, a battery-storage system, and a wallbox, which is a charging station for an electric car.