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Aurora Solar lays off 20% of stuff

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Aurora Solar, a prominent software startup in the solar industry, has recently undertaken significant measures, announcing a workforce reduction of 20%, amounting to approximately 100 employees. This development, reported exclusively by TechCrunch, comes in the wake of what appears to be a challenging period for the company, which specializes in providing software solutions for solar installers to streamline sales, project design, and installation processes.

Despite the solar industry witnessing record growth in recent times, sources indicate that Aurora Solar has failed to meet its growth targets over the past year, leading to these workforce adjustments. This downsizing follows a smaller layoff of around 20 employees in November.

Aurora Solar, having raised $200 million in a Series D round in February 2022, and $250 million in a Series C less than nine months prior, has garnered a substantial total funding of $523 million, according to PitchBook.

Industry observers speculate that changes in net metering regulations in California may be a contributing factor to the challenges faced by Aurora Solar. Alterations in net metering rules have resulted in homeowners receiving diminished payments for the power they sell back to utilities, potentially affecting the demand for solar installations among single-family homeowners.

Despite these hurdles, Aurora Solar is not alone in navigating the evolving landscape of solar incentives. The state of California has introduced richer incentives for solar installations that incorporate battery systems, aiming to counteract reduced net metering rates. However, selling battery systems introduces additional complexities for sales representatives, particularly those working independently.

Solar installers traditionally leverage satellite photos to assess a home’s roof and surroundings, enabling software to calculate potential solar power production easily. However, the intricacies involved in selling battery systems, such as determining daily energy usage, evaluating the home’s electrical panel, and identifying suitable locations for the batteries, may pose challenges for sales representatives.

Aurora Solar’s strategic response to these industry shifts and the layoffs underscore the dynamic nature of the solar market and the need for adaptability in navigating evolving regulations and consumer demands.

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