Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

Commitments and Contingencies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2020
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and Contingencies Commitments and Contingencies
Letters of Credit
As of December 31, 2020 and 2019, the Company had $37.0 million and $20.1 million, respectively, of unused letters of credit outstanding, which carry fees of 2.13% - 3.25% per annum and 1.25% - 3.25% per annum, respectively.
Certain tax equity funds and debt facilities require the Company to maintain an aggregate amount of $30.0 million of unencumbered cash and cash equivalents at the end of each month.
Operating and Finance Leases
The Company leases real estate under non-cancellable operating leases and equipment under finance leases.
The components of lease expense were as follows (in thousands):
For the Year Ended December 31,
2020 2019 2018
Finance lease cost:
Amortization of right-of-use assets $ 10,151  $ 13,999  $ 11,884 
Interest on lease liabilities 890  1,915  676 
Operating lease cost 15,592  13,159  10,467 
Short-term lease cost 689  1,349  732 
Variable lease cost 4,135  3,565  3,112 
Sublease income (782) (669) (572)
Total lease cost $ 30,675  $ 33,318  $ 26,299 
Other information related to leases was as follows (in thousands):
For the Year Ended December 31,
2020 2019 2018
Cash paid for amounts included in the measurement of lease liabilities
Operating cash flows from operating leases $ 15,756  $ 11,516  $ 10,765 
Operating cash flows from finance leases 854  991  482 
Financing cash flows from finance leases 10,578  13,919  9,220 
Right-of-use assets obtained in exchange for lease obligations:
Operating leases 2,071  19,503  3,411 
Finance leases 4,265  17,914  15,370 
Weighted average remaining lease term (years):
Operating leases 7.24 5.39 3.43
Finance leases 2.59 2.91 3.37
Weighted average discount rate:
Operating leases 4.2  % 5.5  % 4.3  %
Finance leases 4.3  % 4.2  % 4.3  %
Future minimum lease commitments under non-cancellable leases as of December 31, 2020 were as follows (in thousands):
Operating Leases Sublease Income Net Operating Leases Finance leases
2021 $ 25,451  $ 685  $ 24,766  $ 11,878 
2022 20,116  35  20,081  8,540 
2023 17,283  —  17,283  4,013 
2024 12,229  —  12,229  889 
2025 9,872  —  9,872 
Thereafter 38,193  —  38,193  — 
Total future lease payments 123,144  720  122,424  25,325 
Less: Amount representing interest (16,132) —  (16,132) (1,359)
Present value of future payments 107,012  720  106,292  23,966 
Less: Amount for tenant incentives —  —  —  — 
Revised Present value of future payments 107,012  720  106,292  23,966 
Less: Current portion (21,461) —  (21,461) (11,037)
Long term portion $ 85,551  $ 720  $ 84,831  $ 12,929 
Purchase Commitment
    The Company entered into purchase commitments, which have the ability to be canceled without significant penalties, with multiple suppliers to purchase $56.9 million of photovoltaic modules, inverters and batteries by the end of 2022.
Warranty Accrual
The Company accrues warranty costs when revenue is recognized for solar energy systems sales, based on the estimated future costs of meeting its warranty obligations. Warranty costs primarily consist of replacement costs for supplies and labor costs for service personnel since warranties for equipment and materials are covered by the original manufacturer’s warranty (other than a small deductible in certain cases). As such, the warranty reserve is immaterial in all periods presented. The Company makes and revises these estimates based on the number of solar energy systems under warranty, the Company’s historical experience with warranty claims, assumptions on warranty claims to occur over a systems’ warranty period and the Company’s estimated replacement costs. A warranty is provided for solar systems sold and leased. However, for the solar energy systems under Customer Agreements, the Company does not accrue a warranty liability because those systems are owned by consolidated subsidiaries of the Company. Instead, any repair costs on those solar energy systems are expensed when they are incurred as a component of customer agreements and incentives costs of revenue.
Commercial ITC Indemnification
The Company is contractually committed to compensate certain investors for any losses that they may suffer in certain limited circumstances resulting from reductions in Commercial ITCs. Generally, such obligations would arise as a result of reductions to the value of the underlying solar energy systems as assessed by the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”). At each balance sheet date, the Company assesses and recognizes, when applicable, the potential exposure from this obligation based on all the information available at that time, including any audits undertaken by the IRS. One of the Company's investors is being audited by the IRS. Since this audit is ongoing, the Company is unable to determine the potential tax liabilities as of the filing date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The maximum potential future payments that the Company could have to make under this obligation would depend largely on the difference between the prices at which the solar energy systems were sold or transferred to the Funds (or, in certain structures, the fair market value claimed in respect of such systems (referred to as "claimed values")) and the eligible basis determined by the IRS. The Company set the purchase prices and claimed values based on fair market values determined with the assistance of an independent third-party appraisal with respect to the systems that generate Commercial ITCs that are passed-through to, and claimed by, the Fund investors. In April 2018, the Company purchased an insurance policy providing for certain payments by the insurers in the event there is any final determination (including a judicial determination) that reduced the Commercial ITCs claimed in respect of solar energy systems sold or transferred to most Funds through April 2018, or later, in the case of Funds added to the policy after such date. In general, the policy indemnifies the Company and related parties for additional taxes (including penalties and interest) owed in respect of lost Commercial ITCs, gross-up costs and expenses incurred in defending such claim, subject to negotiated exclusions from, and limitations to, coverage.
The Company is subject to certain legal proceedings, claims, investigations and administrative proceedings in the ordinary course of its business. The Company records a provision for a liability when it is both probable that the liability has been incurred and the amount of the liability can be reasonably estimated. These provisions, if any, are reviewed at least quarterly and adjusted to reflect the impacts of negotiations, settlements, rulings, advice of legal counsel and other information and events pertaining to a particular case. Depending on the nature and timing of any such proceedings that may arise, an unfavorable resolution of a matter could materially affect the Company’s future consolidated results of operations, cash flows or financial position in a particular period.

On April 8, 2019, a putative class action captioned Loftus et al. v. Sunrun Inc., Case No. 3:19-cv-01608, was filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of California. The complaint generally alleges violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the “TCPA”) on behalf of an individual and putative classes of persons alleged to be similarly situated. Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint on June 26, 2019, adding defendant MediaMix 365, LLC, also asserting individual and putative class claims under the TCPA, along with claims under the California Invasion of Privacy Act. In the amended version of their Complaint, plaintiffs seek statutory damages, equitable and injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees and costs on behalf of themselves and the absent purported classes. Most, if not all, of the claims asserted in the lawsuit relate to activities allegedly engaged in by third-party
vendors, for which the Company denies any responsibility. While the Company believes that the claims against it are without merit, in view of the cost and risk of continuing to defend the action, it has reached an agreement with plaintiffs to settle the lawsuit on a class-wide basis for $5.5 million, which was accrued as of June 30, 2020, in exchange for a release of all claims that were or could have been asserted in the litigation. The settlement is subject to court approval. Preliminary approval was granted on September 25, 2020 and the court has scheduled the final approval hearing for May 6, 2021.

In October 2019, two shareholders filed separate putative class actions in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Crumrine v. Vivint Solar, Inc. and Li v. Vivint Solar, Inc.) purportedly on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated. The lawsuits purport to allege violations of Federal Securities Laws. In March 2020, the court consolidated the two actions and appointed lead plaintiffs and lead counsel to represent the alleged putative class. Subsequently, in December 2020, the Eastern District of New York transferred the case to the District of Utah, where it is now pending. Vivint Solar disputes the allegations in the complaint. The Company is unable to estimate a range of loss, if any, at this time.

In December 2019, ten customers who signed residential power purchase agreements named Vivint Solar in a putative class action lawsuit captioned Dekker v. Vivint Solar, Inc. (N.D. Cal.), alleging that the agreements contain unlawful termination fee provisions. The Company disputes the allegations in the complaint. On January 17, 2020, Vivint Solar moved to compel arbitration with respect to nine of the ten plaintiffs whose contracts included arbitration provisions. The court issued an order compelling eight plaintiffs to pursue their claims in arbitration but subsequently rescinded the order as to certain plaintiffs. At this time, certain plaintiffs’ claims remain pending before the court and other plaintiffs’ claims are in arbitration. The Company is unable to estimate a range of loss, if any, at this time.

In March 2020, a shareholder filed a derivative action captioned Oyola-Rivera v. Allred (DE Chancery Court) against various officers and directors of Vivint Solar, Inc., alleging that they breached their duties of loyalty, care, and good faith. Vivint Solar, Inc. is named as a nominal defendant. The defendants dispute the allegations in the complaint. The Company is unable to estimate a range of loss, if any, at this time.

On December 2, 2020, the California Contractors State License Board (the “CSLB”) filed an administrative proceeding against the Company and certain of its officers related to an accident that occurred during an installation by one of the Company’s channel partners, Horizon Solar Power, which holds its own license with the CSLB. If this proceeding is not resolved in the Company’s favor, it could potentially result in fines, a public reprimand, probation or the suspension or revocation of the Company’s California Contractor’s License. The Company strongly denies any wrongdoing in the matter and intends to work cooperatively with the CSLB while vigorously defending itself in this action. Any potential effect of the CSLB proceeding on the Company’s consolidated financial statements is unknown.

In addition to the matters discussed above, in the normal course of business, the Company has from time to time been named as a party to various legal claims, actions and complaints. While the outcome of these matters cannot currently be predicted with certainty, the Company does not currently believe that the outcome of any of these claims will have a material adverse effect, individually or in the aggregate, on its consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

The Company accrues for losses that are probable and can be reasonably estimated. The Company evaluates the adequacy of its legal reserves based on its assessment of many factors, including interpretations of the law and assumptions about the future outcome of each case based on available information.