SAN DIEGO - Open Energy Corporation announced that it has changed its name to Applied Solar, Inc.

The name change reflects the company’s new strategy offering innovative solar solutions for every rooftop, including the ability to produce clean solar power, measure and control its usage in order to reduce overall energy demand. The name change also offers developers and homeowners the ability to improve the return on investment by gaining the benefits of rooftop solar power systems at little or no upfront cost through a power purchase agreement (PPA). The company’s new three-pronged strategy includes the following:
  • Complete shift from a manufacturing model to a licensing model in order to more efficiently bring to market the Company’s superior suite of innovative, building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products and technologies. The following products are being licensed to world-class manufacturers and distributors and this change will improve margins and streamline the company’s corporate structure.
  • Distributing residential EcoTouch Energy Management Systems to meet the growing need to reduce electricity costs by enabling homeowners to both monitor and control their energy usage from the comfort of their homes or remotely; and
  • Continued focus on the company’s Solar Communities program (www.solarcommunities.com) pursuant to which Applied Solar will own and operate residential solar systems and sell the energy generated to homeowners through a PPA, improving their return on investment by gaining the benefits of rooftop solar power systems at little or no upfront cost to the developer or homeowner.
“We executed this name change to make it clear to our stockholders, business partners and customers that we are focused on and committed to offering a full suite of solar solutions in a business model that we believe best leverages our core competencies,” said David Field, president and CEO of Applied Solar. “Our decision to focus on innovative residential and commercial solar products reflects our ability to be at the forefront of industry trends and quickly capitalize on market opportunities. In addition, we have added our EcoTouch System technology and Solar Communities program to our full suite of solar solutions so homeowners can lower their monthly utility bill and receive the appreciated property value of a solar system without incurring significant upfront costs. Developers can meet their design and environmental objectives, and the communities as a whole can lower their carbon footprint.”

Applied Solar has been recognized as a cutting-edge innovator in BIPV application development, having been awarded more than 10 industry awards for design with approximately 1.8-mega watt installed. The company has gained market penetration with 7 of the top 10 U.S. homebuilders already utilizing Applied Solar’s residential solar tiles. To reinforce its recent strategic decision to concentrate on research and development, in November and December 2008 the company signed exclusive manufacturing, global distribution and marketing agreements with an affiliate of Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd., a leading manufacturer of photovoltaic modules for Applied Solar’s BIPV products. These agreements complement the company’s long-standing distribution relationship with Eagle Roofing Products in the U.S., which has resulted in Applied Solar’s SolarSave BIPV product being installed on hundreds of tract, retrofit, custom, multifamily, and commercial projects throughout North America. Combined, these two relationships provide Applied Solar with unmatched manufacturing capabilities and a worldwide distribution network, with particular strength in Europe and Asia, as well as the U.S.

“Aligning with Suntech, a leading global manufacturer, on BIPV manufacturing and distribution will allow us to focus on innovative product design and meet the needs of our customers while providing us with a global reach,” Field said.

“As the solar industry continues to grow in 2009, it will be critical to have the global reach and scale that the relationship with Suntech brings to our company. Suntech’s world class manufacturing combined with an incredible sales force and a solid foundation of resources and customers was an ideal match for our company."

Additionally, Applied Solar offers its EcoTouch Energy Management System. This innovative platform allows homeowners to manage and control their home energy usage, enabling them to reduce their electric bill from the comfort of their homes or remotely. The EcoTouch Energy Management System includes a touch screen information display and action tool that captures and displays home energy use and solar power system production. With the EcoTouch Energy Management System, homeowners gain an in-depth understanding of their energy use and can take steps to control different household devices in order to conserve energy and save money.

The rich stream of data from the EcoTouch Energy Management System empowers homeowners to make better decisions about their energy production and consumption. The system is connected to a homeowner’s solar installation and provides real-time detailed information including the number of kilowatt-hours produced by the system on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis with prior period comparisons.

Finally, the company has developed the Solar Communities program, which involves offering a PPA financing model to the residential market. The advantage to the Applied Solar approach is that the company is able to leverage its existing customer base and distribution channel, reducing the high customer acquisition costs inherent in many of these programs. The company signed its first Solar Communities development agreement in March 2008 with a San Diego-based developer of a mixed-use residential and commercial development. For more information, visit www.appliedsolar.com.