Austin-based 17TeraWatts Launches Bodhi, a Software App to Help Solar Homeowners

Texas ranks number one of all the states in solar energy potential and number seven in installed solar capacity, according to the Texas Solar Energy Society.

That makes Austin a great place to launch Bodhi Software, an app that helps homeowners install solar panels, track energy use and develop a relationship with others in the solar energy community.

Scott Nguyen, co-founder, and CEO of 17TeraWatts, came up with the idea for Bodhi when he had solar panels installed in his house in Austin by Lighthouse Solar. He saw a need for a product that kept the homeowners informed about every step in the process of installing and activating solar panels. And then he wanted to continue cultivating the relationship with the homeowner and the solar energy community.

In March of 2018, Nguyen founded 17TeraWatts., which is a member of the MassChallenge Texas accelerator.

“Solar’s growth is currently bottlenecked by Chinese tariffs, expiring tax credits, and rising customer acquisition costs,” Nguyen said in a news statement. “In developing Bodhi, we found that homeowners that are happy and engaged provide more referrals which are 3 times more effective than traditional sales channels. Our goal for Bodhi is to make going solar contagious.”

Bodhi was in beta testing with Lighthouse Solar,CAM Solar, andPhoton Brothers.

Bodhi works by integrating with the solar companies software tools to personalize the installation and commissioning process for the homeowner. Once the system is powered up, Bodhi keeps homeowners aware of its performance with meaningful visualizations and alerts.

Texas is a big and growing market for solar energy, Nguyen said.

Texas has more than 38,220 solar installations and solar investment has exceeded $3.2 billion, according to a recent report from the Texas Solar Energy Society. The report shows Texas has 105 solar manufacturers, 245 installers/developers, and 207 other companies.

17TeraWatts, clean energy software company, created Bodhi as a platform and digital assistant for solar homeowners.

“To do customer experience in a way that resonates with the homeowner, we created a persona for the product itself,” Nguyen said.

Bodhi, which means “the knowledge or wisdom, or awakened intellect, of a Buddha,” is meant to engage homeowners and get a conversation going about the importance of solar energy, Nguyen said.

In the future, Bodhi will be integrated with Alexa and Google to be voice interactive, he said.

A solar installation costs around $20,000 and Bodhi lets homeowners measure the impact of that investment over time, Nguyen said.

“It makes them feel good about that relationship,” he said. “It starts building energy awareness.”

Just like Facebook achieved 15 billion users in 15 years, 17TeraWatts hopes to build a strong community of people committed to solar energy who want to change the world.

“This is the first step there,” Nguyen said.