Sunnova Q1 customer additions decrease, to rely on ‘lease and PPA customers’ in 2024

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Sunnova added 27,000 new customers in the first quarter of 2024, the third consecutive quarter in which new customer additions fell. Image: Sunnova.

US residential solar installer Sunnova’s new customer additions continued to drop in the first quarter of 2024, but its adjusted EBITDA increased by over 200%.

In Q1, Sunnova added only about 27,000 new customers, bringing the total customer count to 438,500 as of 31 March. Customer additions have now dropped for three consecutive quarters, down from 39,000 in Q2 2023, the highest since Sunnova’s acquisition of SunStreet in April 2021. The company aimed to add between 140,000 and 150,000 customers in 2024, down from previous predictions of 185,000-195,000. 

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“While we expect flat growth in overall customer additions in 2024, we still expect the number of megawatts we deployed this year to increase. This is due to a shift in our expected customer mix in 2024 as we refocus our capital expenditure investment on core adaptive energy customers,” said John Berger, chairman and CEO of Sunnova. 

The company’s solar additions in 2024 will be “much more heavily weighted towards lease and power purchase agreement (PPA) customers”, according to Berger. 

Graph showing quarterly change in new Sunnova customers. Credit: PV Tech

Sunnova’s narrowed its net loss to US$70 million in Q1 2024, down from US$81.1 million in Q1 2023. Adjusted EBITDA was US$46.4 million for Q1 2024, compared to US$14.6 million for Q1 2023. Sunnova said this increase was primarily the result of investment tax credit sales, which began in Q3 2023.

Looking ahead, the company’s expected adjusted EBITDA in 2024 will be between US$350 million and US$450 million. 

“During the first quarter we acted on several initiatives such as rebalancing our capital expenditure budget and updating our pricing that will continue to bolster our cash generation. Our ongoing progress gives us confidence in our ability to increase our cash efficiency, giving us conviction in our cash generation outlook for 2025 and beyond,” Berger added. 

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