According to a SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association), solar panel systems have become one of the fastest-growing sources of energy in the United States.The association anticipates the solar market will double in size by 2023, generating 4.5 billion dollars in revenue.
One of the drivers propelling solar’s popularity is government initiatives. A Yahoo Finance article from this year highlights that government agencies are pushing the residential sector towards zero-energy consumption targets. As a consequence of federal incentives, the demand for PV systems continues to rise. Another factor luring homeowners into the renewables market is the new wave of Lithium-ion batteries and their potential to make dwellings fully energy independent.
The Grid In A Nutshell
As a solar contractor, you undoubtedly will have a vast understanding about the subtle nuances regarding everything from installation to storage.
That said, the average homeowner has a much more rudimentary understanding of how the renewable energy source actually functions. So being able to explain, in simple terms, why a grid-tied system would benefit from storage can help establish a positive rapport with a client.
The Addition Of Solar Storage
A homeowner looking for increased independence from his or her local utility will be enticed by stockpiling their energy. But it’s up to you to help them choose the right type of storage for their particular situation.
Utility Companies And Solar Storage
Assisting a client in understanding how a utility company charges a household for electricity is the first step towards determining the benefits of solar storage.
Time-of-use (TOU) rates and demand charges
Spelling out how a homeowner can reduce the amount of electricity their household will need to purchase from the utility during peak hours will endear you to a homeowner. By using their utility bill as a base point, and showing them how much money they will save by utilising the right storage for their particular needs is an effective way to inspire confidence.
Batteries In A Nutshell
Once a homeowner is sold on the idea of storage, you can help them in the selection of a suitable product that is right for their system. That means providing the customer with valuable insights, especially if they start asking about storage attributes: the battery’s capacity & power ratings, depth of discharge (DoD), round-trip efficiency, manufacturer and warranty
Capacity & power
As an installer you are well-aware that capacity is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). While capacity measures how big a battery is, you know that size does not necessarily determine how much electricity a battery can provide at a given moment.
It’s a battery’s power rating that determines how much juice it can deliver from moment to moment. Your ability to explain how a battery with a high capacity and a low power rating could deliver a low amount of electricity (enough to run a few crucial appliances) over a long period of time and a battery with low capacity and a high power rating could drive an entire home for a few hours is priceless advice that clients who do not have your expertise are going to appreciate.
Depth of discharge (DoD)
Helping a homeowner understand how batteries with a higher DoD can allow a household to tap into a higher percent of a battery’s storage capacity will help ensure the client purchases the right storage for their home. That kind of genuine concern for their hardware will help you get a leg up on a competitor who isn't so forthcoming.
Customers are often confused by round-trip efficiency. So if you can help them understand that the quantity of electricity needed to charge a battery and the actual amount that will be available for subsequent use are not the same, it will certainly advance when it comes to signing a contract.
Battery life, warranty and manufacturer
Battery life and warranty information are important attributes to share with a homeowner to ensure that they incorporate the right batteries into their system. Clients who understand how a battery will “cycle” (charge and drain) daily, and gradually decrease in power over the course of its lifetime (much like your smartphone battery) are better informed to make prudent, smart decisions.
From tech start-ups to car companies, there are a number of players in the battery game. In many cases, you can help a customer determine if the functionality of batteries from tech startups, that are unknown and unproven, are better investments than the batteries designed by car makers that are often less innovative, but are tried, tested and warranted for the long haul. By relying on your expertise, you can help a homeowner decide what type of storage might best serve their home.
By staying on top of the latest developments in the solar industry such as batteries, your extensive knowledge will be noticed when a homeowner decides to choose a PV contractor.
Another way to ensure that your clients have confidence in your expertise is a solar management system like Solargraf. It is helping over 7,000 solar installers boost sales and save precious time by leveraging technology that makes it faster and easier to build, share, edit and sign accurate, customizable quotes.
Solargraf is ultra user-friendly, performing seamlessly on any mobile device. It helps to streamline communication between all team members and guarantees effective communication at every stage of a project.
This unique software empowers users to easily draw and map panel specs within minutes simply by entering a customer’s address. By integrating the best HD imagery through partnerships with Nearmap and Eagleview, the layout of the proposed panels can be quickly designed. It can even tabulate shade measurements!
As solar energy becomes more affordable and widely implemented, the market potential for energy storage devices such as batteries expands. That’s why it is so important for solar contractors to stay abreast of all the nuanced advancements that are helping to drive the marketability of solar. The ability to share that type expertise can easily translate into an increased number of contracts.
Article by: MJ Stone for Solargraf.