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How Sunrun Keeps Boots on the Ground with Reality Capture Technology

November 16, 2022

Back in 2020, Sunrun decided to take a different approach to site assessments for residential solar installation. Sunrun joined DroneDeploy to expedite site assessments for residential solar installation, and  to make the process safer, more efficient and more reliable for designers and technicians.

In turning to DroneDeploy, the residential solar giant completely shifted the way it worked, opting to keep its technicians’ boots on the ground for roof inspections. Aerial surveys, aided by drone technology, was the answer. Now, Sunrun performs automated, highly accurate roof surveys using drones, which not only streamlines their design process, but keeps their technicians safely on the ground as well.  

"DroneDeploy has been one of the most innovative steps we've taken as a company to ensure safer, higher quality surveys among technicians and provides a deliverable unparalleled in the industry"

- Louis Jennings-Melrose, Senior District Survey Supervisor, Sunrun

Mavic remote controller

The Risky Challenge of Roof Inspections

Sunrun’s commitment to safety has not only ensured the peace of mind of its workers but has also earned the residential solar installation giant wide recognition. During the annual DroneDeploy Conference, Sunrun was recognized as the winner of the 2022 Guardian of Safety award in the inaugural DroneDeploy Awards. This award honors companies that are using reality capture to positively impact worker safety.

“Successfully utilizing our drone program has lead to many different positive results and beneficial process changes, which at the end of the day benefit our customer’s experience and turn around time. We have only began to scratch the surface of drone capabilities and time savings for Sunrun”. - Charles Sams, Senior District Survey Supervisor, Sunrun

Before DroneDeploy, Sunrun relied on technicians to perform roof surveys manually on customers’ roofs. This meant workers would spend hours of the day scrambling across rooftops to take measurements by hand for solar panel installations. As one can imagine, this was not only time consuming, but also posed a risk to worker safety – and if the measurements weren’t fully accurate, they would have to go back up to re-measure.

Guardians of Safety 2022 Award Winners

Committing to a Safe Workspace

Once Sunrun integrated DroneDeploy into its day-to-day operations, not only did worker safety improve, but worker morale did, too. Instead of relying on risky boots-on-roof inspections, Sunrun can now conduct a vast majority of its surveys from the safety of the ground. By deploying a drone-first approach to roof inspections, Sunrun is single-handedly revolutionizing the way the industry conducts surveys.

Sunrun’s commitment to creating a safe workspace through drone and reality capture technology made them a clear choice as the winner of the Guardian of Safety Award.

We look forward to announcing next year’s Guardian of Safety Award at DroneDeploy Conference 2023.

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