Sunnovations Solar Hot Water: About Us

Our Mission

We passionately believe that:

  • Climate change is the most important issue of our time and one that cannot be deferred to the next generation.
  • Energy efficiency is the lowest-hanging fruit for mitigating our environmental impact, increasing our country’s energy independence and decreasing our energy spending.
  • Solar-powered hot water should be an obvious, affordable alternative for all American homes and businesses, and federal, state and local policy and regulations should encourage its use.
Our Company

The company is a classic entrepreneurial story: a technically savvy consumer went to purchase a product and found what was in the market lacking and decided to build a superior solution himself. Arnoud van Houten founded the company in March 2008 and partnered with angel investors Solaq BV (who advised van Houten’s previous start-up) for development and early-stage financing.

Our Team

Matt Carlson - Chief Executive Officer

Matt is responsible for all business and commercial aspects of the company including strategy, legal, marketing and business development. He has a wealth of entrepreneurial leadership experience, including co-founding and serving as founding CEO of Pangea Ltd, a telecommunications infrastructure provider that built and operated a 7,000km fiber-optic network in northern Europe. With Matt’s leadership, Pangea raised $450 million in capital (including $140 million in venture capital) and went from business plan to commercial availability in only three years with operations in 10 countries. Prior to Sunnovations, he led business development at management consulting firm The Corporate Executive Board for the division serving Fortune 1000 strategy, R&D and general management leaders.

Matt received his BA from Duke University and his MBA from Georgetown University. He was a Finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award (SW Connecticut/NY Hudson Valley Region) in 2001. Matt lives with his wife and three children in Arlington, Virginia where they enjoy their Sunnovations-powered hot water.


Arnoud van Houten - Founder, President and Chief Technology Officer

Arnoud founded Sunnovations in March 2008 after proof of concept of the new technology. He is convinced that solar hot water is the smartest option for homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint and that the North American climate is ideal for the technology. A native of the Netherlands, he is responsible for all technical, product development and operational matters for the company. Arnoud was founder and CEO of mAdch Innovations, a wireless ASP that raised $1.5mm in venture capital. He has also served in engineering and management positions at leading firms including Openwave, Agere, Vodafone and IBM.

Arnoud received a BS in computer science from the Technical University at Enschede and followed a Masters program at the University of Amsterdam.  He lives in Reston, Virginia with his wife and daughter where they enjoy their Sunnovations hot water system.


Advisory Team

David Pannier

Dave Pannier is currently serving as President of North American Technician Excellence (NATE) a Washington DC-based non-profit focused on the testing and certification of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) technicians in North America. A recognized leader in the HVACR community, he was previously President of Trane Residential Systems, a $1.5 billion business unit of Ingersoll-Rand, until his retirement in September 2009 after 33 years with Trane. Under Dave's leadership, Trane introduced the industry-standard Comfort Specialist Program. 

He has served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and as Vice Chairman of NATE’s Board of Trustees. Dave served as Chairman of AHRI in 2004 and is now an advisory member of AHRI’s Executive Committee. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin where he received a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering.


Jeffrey Ross

Jeff Ross is currently the Executive Vice President of Business Development at smartgrid leader GridPoint. He has considerable experience working with growing clean technology and networking companies, having served as a partner at a venture capital fund prior to GridPoint. Earlier in his career, Mr. Ross served as General Manager and Vice President of Gemalto, a leading global digital security company, where he was responsible for commercial operations, customer delivery and technical support. Prior to Gemalto, Jeff founded Alereon, a leading wireless semiconductor company focused on ultra wideband technology for wireless USB and next-generation Bluetooth. He also worked as Senior Vice President for Corporate Development at Time Domain Corporation as well as practiced corporate law at Patton Boggs in Washington, D.C.

Jeff is a frequent speaker on technology issues and has appeared on television and radio and in print in venues such as CNBC and The Wall Street Journal. He has testified before Congress and state public utility commissions. Jeff holds a B.A. (magna cum laude) from Washington University in St. Louis and a law degree from the University of Virginia.


Gregory Kats

Gregory Kats is President of Capital E and Senior Director and director of climate change at Good Energies, a multi-billion dollar global clean energy investor, where he leads the firm’s investments in energy efficiency and green buildings. He serves on the Board of Directors of Tendril, Sustainability Roundtable Inc. and the International Institute for Energy Conservation, and serves on the Board of Advisors of Serious Materials, CalStar Products, Cherokee Investment Partners, and AlertMe.

Greg served for 5 years as the Director of Financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. Earlier in his career, he held senior management, marketing, and product development positions in London, Paris and Geneva. Greg is a founder of the American Council on Renewable Energy and the New Resource Bank. He is founding chair of the Energy and Atmosphere Technical Advisory Group for LEED, led major changes in energy and climate change requirements in LEED, and is the founding chair of the National Capital area chapter for LEED. Greg earned an MBA from Stanford University and, concurrently, an MPA from Princeton University where he studied under Ben Bernanke. Greg was a principal author of Green Office Buildings: A Practical Guide to Development (ULI, 2005), and is the author of the Greening Our Built World: Costs, Benefits and Strategies (Island Press, 2010). He is a frequent keynote speaker at national clean-energy technology, venture capital and real estate conferences.  

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