March 29, 2023
The further price of battery storage for residential solar techniques is usually a deterrent for some householders. The secret’s to indicate them how storage is an funding that may assist optimize their utility charges, make their properties extra resilient in opposition to grid outages — each deliberate and unplanned — and profit the setting. It’s as much as solar professionals to assist their prospects see the added worth battery storage can carry.
Here are a couple of suggestions for promoting battery storage in three particular situations: 1) as a part of a solar system package deal, 2) to enhance an current system or 3) as a standalone system.
Advantages of battery storage
The key to promoting storage in any state of affairs is speaking its worth proposition, which isn’t one-size-fits-all. The very first thing you must do as a salesman is to guarantee that your buyer will truly profit from including storage. That means doing an intensive buyer wants discovery.
For instance, in utility markets that don’t have time-of-use charges and infrequently have outages, the advantages of storage in all probability don’t outweigh the associated fee. On the opposite hand, in locations with unstable climate, or which have variable charges or deliberate outages, having the ability to financial institution solar or grid power through the day to make use of throughout peak hours, after sunset, or as backup throughout outages could be very engaging.
Selling solar + storage on the outset
Making one larger sale is at all times simpler than making two separate gross sales, so getting the shopper to decide to each solar and storage upfront is the surer guess. Fortunately for installers, a powerful case could be made that environment friendly and efficient deployment of storage is at all times finest carried out together with the design of the solar system. That means effectivity for the installer and the shopper.
The major consideration for householders investing in a solar system is ROI. In the case of storage, that features the laborious to quantify worth of resilience in opposition to outages. You will help your case for speaking that worth by making putting in storage as environment friendly as potential, which implies together with it within the preliminary design. Sizing the storage system primarily based on the manufacturing worth and remaining demand for customers is finest carried out when taken as a complete. It can even be extra pricey so as to add storage later, because the fastened prices of an set up might be handed on to the shopper. That is to not point out the additional trouble of buying batteries later, pulling further permits and making use of for rebates which will now not be in impact.
Solar system look can also be an vital consideration for most householders, and together with storage within the system design from the outset has actual long-term worth for the shopper by delivering extra streamlined wiring that’s each extra practical and pleasing to the attention.
These advantages apart, it’s value noting that it’s a finest apply to be upfront along with your buyer in regards to the realities of provide and demand for storage. Supply chain disruption continues to be a difficulty, and designing a system and allowing for storage and never having the ability to set up the batteries can depart the challenge in limbo, affecting each buyer satisfaction and your personal labor prices. It’s finest to supply storage when you will have a direct line of sight to your provider and clear expectations along with your buyer.
Following up so as to add storage
Uncoupled from the shopper’s preliminary enthusiasm for going solar, promoting storage at a later time could be extra of an uphill battle, however it may be carried out. Since putting in their solar system, the shopper might have come to appreciate — or at the very least be open to listening to about — the advantages of including storage. Perhaps storage simply wasn’t of their preliminary funds, however they expressed curiosity in including it to their system sooner or later. In every case, a periodic name each six months is a good way to revisit the subject. Begin by following up on how their solar system is performing and hearken to their suggestions for alternatives the place storage would add worth for them.
For occasion, current developments in internet energy metering would possibly end result within the buyer receiving much less compensation for contributing to the grid. In these markets, it may make extra sense to retailer extra solar energy for private use.
While it’s potential to measurement for storage wants for an current system, few contractors are positioned to effectively set up storage solely. Installers have a tendency to make use of massive fleet automobiles for transportation of panels and carry massive crew sizes, neither of which lend themselves to being repurposed. Therefore, it’s in your finest curiosity (and the shopper’s) to encourage storage to be included with the preliminary solar installment.
However, in case you are able to supply later set up, it could actually present further advantages past income. For occasion, it could actually generate additional referral alternatives by retaining your prospects speaking about their solar system, particularly should you’ve helped them maximize its worth.
Selling standalone storage
For apparent causes, battery storage is most frequently paired with a solar system. If you depend on a standalone battery for backup throughout an outage, you gained’t be capable to recharge it till the grid is again on-line. So, if a buyer is trying into standalone storage as an answer to outages of greater than a number of hours, you will have a chance to steer them towards the advantages of pairing storage with a solar system. Aside from the bigger sale you’ll be making, as a contractor, it’s additionally a extra environment friendly use of your assets.
However, there are conditions the place standalone storage may be fascinating. In circumstances the place shorter outages are frequent, battery storage can present a extra seamless and safer backup than counting on a generator. For occasion, through the hottest months of the 12 months when grid pressure could cause an outage, having the ability to run a home’s HVAC system can drastically enhance high quality of life.
Standalone storage may also assist scale back electrical payments. If the shopper lives in a time-of-use market, they might cost their batteries throughout cheaper hours and both contribute again to the grid throughout peak hours to be compensated, or they might change their private use to backup to keep away from larger charges. This is particularly precious for electrical car house owners.
There are additionally incentives particularly for energy storage. Green Mountain Power in Vermont, for instance, points upfront funds to prospects who decide to contributing to the grid. In addition, the Inflation Reduction Act expanded the tax credit score for including storage.
There are environmental advantages to storage, even with out including solar. Standalone storage reduces demand throughout peak utilization occasions, which helps minimize emissions and keep away from utilities counting on polluting peaker crops.
Whatever the state of affairs by which a buyer may be trying so as to add battery storage, understanding the worth it supplies for that exact buyer is vital to creating the sale, incomes one other glad buyer and serving to to spur the expansion of sustainable energy options.
John Bumgarner is basic supervisor of solar and storage for Mosaic, a number one financing platform for U.S. residential solar and energy-efficient home enhancements. Bumgarner is a longtime solar trade skilled with practically 15 years of expertise managing new associate improvement and coaching, enterprise intelligence and portfolio administration.
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