US residential solar installer Sunnova reported fourth quarter revenue down 24% from the prior quarter, while posting full-year revenue growth of 22%, year-on-year.
Sunnova reported revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020 of US$38 million, up from US$36.6 million in the prior year period. However, revenue in the reporting quarter was 24% below the previous quarter revenue of US$50.2 million, which was a new quarterly record for the company.
Although the company did not highlight reasons for the strong decline, management noted in its financial earnings presentation that energy storage attachment rates to new and existing customers declined from a high of 34% in the third quarter of 2020 to only 19% in the fourth quarter. This was said to be due to battery supply constraints.
Sunnova reported total operating expense increased to US$56 million in the reporting quarter, compared to US$48.5 million in the previous quarter.
Operating expenses typically increase quarter-on-quarter due to an increase in the number of customers served and greater depreciation expense.
Sunnova added around 9,000 customers in the fourth quarter of 2020, in-line with quarterly customer acquisitions since the second quarter of the year.
Sunnova added approximately 29,000 customers in 2020, bringing total customer count to 107,500. The rate of customer acquisition increased 57% in 2020, compared to the prior year acquisition rate 84%, over 2018.
Full-year revenue was US$160.8 million, up 22% year-on-year, while adjusted EBITDA was US$59.6 million, compared to US$48.3 million in 2019.
“We are incredibly proud of our fourth quarter and full year results as we skillfully navigated the challenges presented by the global pandemic,” said William J. (John) Berger, Chief Executive Officer of Sunnova.
“Despite an incredibly challenging year, in 2020 we achieved a 57% customer growth rate, saw record levels of demand for our energy storage offerings, expanded our strategic technology partnerships, strengthened our differentiated dealer base, and met our operational and financial targets.”
Sunnova said that it expected customer acquisition rates in 2021 to be in the range of 55,000 – 58,000, up from previous guidance of 42,000 – 48,000, significantly higher than in 2020.
Adjusted EBITDA guidance was also raised from a range of US$77 million to US$83 million to within a range of US$80 million to US$85 million.