Three more solar installers located across the country (Lifetime Solar, SUNation and Sigora Solar) recently signed on with home energy monitoring company Sense to provide their customers with greater real-time insight into their home’s energy consumption and usage.
“Lifetime Solar partnered with Sense to give its customers another tool in achieving energy independence,” said Tony Patton, business development VP with Lifetime, which has offices across the Midwest. “With Sense’s real-time data on electrical consumption, our customers can adjust their usage to better coincide with their solar power production. This reduces the amount of kWh our customers return to the grid through net-metering, while also increasing the return on investment in their solar power system. The end result has been happy customers, which is our goal with every system we install.”
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Many homeowners invest in solar to reduce or eliminate their home’s reliance on the electric utility. But with only a monthly utility bill to inform them about their energy usage, residents lack the insights they need to assess realistically the impact of their solar investment on their energy costs. Sense provides a real-time view of solar energy production side-by-side with a view of when and how energy is being used, so residents can see how their lifestyle decisions impact their energy usage. Sense users can manage their home’s energy consumption in real time, set goals and create alerts, making their solar investment more valuable in both the short and long term.
“Discovering the sources contributing to their energy usage keeps people aware of how their lifestyle translates to their power consumption,” said Said Harry Belechto, director of service at New York-based SUNation. “Additionally, the monitor provides clarity on the relationship between solar production and electric consumption, and helps customers better understand the details of their energy bills.”
These partners join more than 80 solar installers nationwide that already partner with Sense to deliver their customers greater insights into their home’s energy needs.
— Solar Builder magazine
New energy research announced by Parks Associates reveals 12% of U.S. broadband households that do not currently have solar PV panels are likely to purchase them in the next year. The IoT research firm notes the most popular energy-efficiency equipment for 2018 is a backup generator, with 19% of current non-owners planning to make this purchase.
Parks Associates will present smart energy research and lead discussions on utility strategies to increase and leverage consumer interest in these solutions at the ninth-annual Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer, February 19-21, at the Omni Austin Downtown in Austin, Texas. The event features keynotes from ITRON and Meritage Homes and features expert discussions on new growth opportunities for energy providers in the residential markets.
“Energy efficiency enables utilities to utilize incentives to establish a position in the smart home market,” said Tom Kerber, Director, IoT Strategy, Parks Associates. “We will explore their opportunities and trends in consumer demand in depth at Smart Energy Summit.”
Smart Energy Summit features two key sessions on February 20 focused on new opportunities for energy providers in home energy management and beyond.
— Solar Builder magazine
We spend a lot of time sharing news on equipment and systems, but a big part of the solar installation business is in sales, marketing and customer service. New Jersey-based installer Momentum Solar has seen rapid growth in the last two years, helping over 400 New Jersey and New York homeowners go solar in November alone. To keep the momentum going, the company announced a new “White Glove” Site Assessment service for homeowners preparing for solar installations. Rolling out this service reiterates Momentum’s commitment to the customer experience as they expand.
“Seven years ago I was up on roofs doing the installs,” said Momentum Solar Founder and President, Cameron Christensen. “As we grow, we want to stand out. We already offer wholesale roof work and tree removal when necessary. This new service will help to reiterate our company values of treating each home as our own and all customers as family. It helps exemplify the pride and dedication we have in our work.”
What is the White Glove Assessment?
Once a homeowner signs a solar system agreement, there are operational steps that installers must execute from sale through activation, including an initial assessment of the property to ensure accurate measurements for system design. Momentum goes above and beyond for each customer throughout this process.
“Our teams are ready to do complimentary gutter cleaning, utilize cordless Dyson vacuums in the home, you name it,” said VP of Field Operations, James Valerioti. “The goal is to the leave the home in a better place than we found it. It’s a gesture to our customers to show how valued they are and what their business means to us — it can go a long way.”
To kickoff this new initiative, Momentum leadership treated their field management to a limo ride into Manhattan for a “white glove” dinner at a 5-star restaurant to establish the highest standard of services going forward. The goal is for each customer to have a uniquely positive experience by going solar, and spread the excitement to others. More solar means cleaner air for generations to come.
— Solar Builder magazine
Leasing a solar system just got a whole lot easier for people interested in saving money, choosing how they power their homes and reducing their environmental footprint, thanks to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The new SEIA Residential Lease Disclosure form will be available to all companies to help consumers better understand the terms and costs of their solar leases. The form is also designed to help consumers choose among competitive providers.
“This one form can help millions of homeowners go solar,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO. “The SEIA Residential Lease Disclosure form is the knowledgeable best friend everyone wishes they had on those big ticket purchases. By using this tool, solar shoppers can now easily compare competing lease contracts – creating a marketplace of consumers who are both well-informed and confident in their decision to go carbon-free.”
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The form was created by a team of senior attorneys from across the solar and housing industries and has been shared widely with consumer groups, federal and state regulators, and others with an interest in ensuring consumers understand how solar transactions work. The disclosure form does not replace a traditional lease, but instead provides a clear snapshot of the important details of a leasing arrangement, increasing consumer awareness of key terms, including costs, warranty terms and solar energy production estimates.
“We applaud SEIA’s prioritization of consumer protection and are confident that the Residential Lease Disclosure form will provide transparency across the solar industry marketplace and drive greater clarity for consumers,” said Seth Weissmann, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of SolarCity.
The disclosure form is part of SEIA’s ongoing effort to ensure that the solar industry remains at the forefront of consumer protection. The SEIA Solar Business Code, launched last fall, is the backbone of the industry’s consumer protection efforts.
Check out the newly-updated SEIA Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power here.