Sunnova’s Q4 Losses Balloon as Operating and Interest Expenses Soar

Quarterly operating expenses for the quarter soared by 474% YoY

February 23, 2024


U.S.-based residential solar firm Sunnova Energy‘s fourth quarter (Q4) net loss ballooned by about 800% to $187.6 million from $20.9 million last year, hurt by higher interest and operating expenses.

Quarterly operating expenses for the quarter soared by 474%, but lower inventory costs partially mitigated the negative impact. Interest expense rose by 171% when compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the quarterly revenue of the Texas-based company remained relatively flat, decreasing by a percentage point to $194.2 million from $195.6 million the previous year.

Adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) for the quarter, on the other hand, swelled to $191.4 million from $35.6 million last year, primarily due to $193 million worth of renewable energy investment tax credit sales.

During Q4 2023, Sunnova gained over 34,000 customers, which brought its total customer count at the end of 2023 to just over 419,000. The battery attachment rate was 24% for the same period.

Full Year 2023

The full-year (FY) results fared better as the company reported a 29% increase in FY 2023 revenue to $720.6 million from $557.7 million in 2022, partially helped by higher revenue from power purchase agreements (PPAs) and direct sales.

Losses for the year, however, expanded by 159% to $418 million from $161.6 million last year. Higher operating expenses, which rose by 199%, and increased interest expense, which grew by 245%, resulted in higher losses in 2023.

Adjusted EBITDA was a bright spot for FY 2023, too, as it grew by 130% to $274.5 million on the back of $207 million worth of renewable energy investment tax credit sales.

During the earnings call, John Berger, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, said, “Macroeconomic challenges and a rapidly evolving landscape meant that companies who are unable to adapt and tackle these challenges head-on have struggled or exited the market. While this unfortunate reality for some may have caused apprehension and generated negative headlines. It also presents a silver lining of reduced competition for adaptable companies like Sunnova.”

2023 has been a challenging year for Sunnova, with losses expanding in every quarter compared to last year. The company’s losses in the first quarter expanded by 400%, second-quarter losses increased by 629%, while the third-quarter losses swelled by 75%.