AGL to leave the residential solar installation business

AGL Energy has quit the residential rooftop solar installation business, five months after the closure of its “new energy” business, and three weeks after the sudden departure of CEO Andy Vesey.

The company made the announcement this week, revealing it would record a loss of $47 million from the write-down of goodwill, systems investments and inventory, plus other business closure costs.

In an emailed statement, AGL dismissed any link between the leadership changes and the exit from household solar, saying that a review of the business had been in the works.

“We decided to withdraw from the direct installation of residential solar hardware after completing a comprehensive review of the business,” AGL Chief Customer Officer Melissa Reynolds said.

“The review determined that the interests of our customers would be better served by moving to a different business model. Under this model we forward enquiries for residential solar hardware installation to our third-party partners which are experts in the installation of PV solar.

“AGL will continue to provide advice to customers on solar energy and energy plans.”

AGL was one of the country’s top 10 installers of residential solar, and is in the top 5 of commercial solar installers. It will not exit that business, the company says. Its rival, Origin Energy, is by far the biggest installer of commercial solar in the country.

The company says its plans for virtual power plants in Adelaide and elsewhere will not be affected. The new energy division was merged into other business after a decision was made that “innovation should be something embedded in all business groups.”

Giles Parkinson