Why you should be selling personal power plants (microgrids) to your customers

Adam Boucher

CEO, naak

If you want to learn how naak's all-in-one energy management platform can create unstoppable service offerings for your solar company schedule a free demo today.

Imagine being able to offer your customers a secure, cost-effective, and self-sufficient way to easily manage their energy. Sound too good to be true? It's actually real and the secret to this offering is the microgrid.

 

With the threat of grid outages in mind, homeowners are starting to become more and more concerned about resiliency. Now, with the introduction of microgrids, solar installers can offer their customers more control over their energy costs  as well as true independence from the utility grid.

 

This article discusses the basics of microgrid technology, the reasons for their increased popularity among homeowners, and an introduction to how you can offer them to your customers.

 

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An untapped market in solar

How personal power plants (microgrids) are unlocking the next era of solar growth

To understand a microgrid, you first have to understand how the traditional grid functions. The grid connects homes and businesses to a central power source. This is the source of energy that enables us to operate appliances, heating/cooling systems, electronics and even vehicles.

 

A conventional electricity network ("the grid") is comprised of three main components:

 

  • Energy consumers (homes, businesses, etc.)

  • The poles and wires (the electricity delivery infrastructure)

  • Large-scale power plants (coal, gas, wind, nuclear, hydro, solar)

                      ​

 

 

However, if there is damage due to a storm, natural disaster, or a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event, everyone on the grid is left without power. This is where a microgrid makes all the difference. A microgrid is a local energy grid independent from the utility grid. Its size can range from an entire community, campus or town with a dedicated generation plant of its own, to a single house with an all-in-one solar, storage, and intelligent energy management system.

 

Most times a microgrid operates while connected to the grid, but is able to operate on its own via local energy generation. This is vital in times of crisis like when a community is hit by a significant storm or power outage. Among other things, a microgrid can be powered by a renewable resource like solar panels, and with an integrated battery to store the solar, if properly sized, can often operate indefinitely. It also helps reduce energy costs by being less reliant on the utility grid and its ability to allow owners to participate in Demand Response programs that generate additional savings. Ultimately, a microgrid allows communities to be more energy independent and environmentally friendly.

 

It's no wonder why microgrids are gaining popularity throughout the United States. In 2016 the U.S. microgrid market was over $550 million and GTM research's 2018 forecast predicts that the market's cumulative capacity will hit 7.1 GW by 2023. They report that supportive state policy, interest from utilities and energy companies and more streamlined adoption processes are the cause of this growth. And, this was all before PSPS events that left Millions in the dark for days throughout CA in 2019. Expected to be a new normal for the next decade.

 

The best way to differentiate your solar business in 2020

How your customers can affordably meet all of their energy needs

Another cause for increased interest and development of microgrids is the rise of affordable small-scale renewable energy - specifically rooftop solar. It's now possible for almost any homeowner to affordably produce as much energy as they consume. And with battery storage prices dropping, households are better able to take energy matters into their own hands. Armed with solar, a battery and a microgrid controller, households can meet the entirety of their energy needs independently of the electrical grid and large-scale power plants.

 

 

              

 

For solar developers, microgrids provide a way to offer more than just better savings. This is a way to differentiate and scale your solar business by selling your customers resiliency and control. Today, selling solar alone is a race to the bottom strategy. Fortunately, this opens the door to a new and more lucrative market geared toward selling energy services.

The secret to maximizing customer lifetime value

A taste of true independence that homeowners can't get enough of

Contrary to the traditional grid, microgrids place focus on individuals as active participants instead of passive consumers. They allow homeowners and businesses with microgrids to participate in the energy market in ways that benefit them on an individual level as well as the grid. 

 

A good example is, in markets with Demand Response Programs, the ability to manage energy loads while discharging a battery can make a utility customer “Grid Invisible”. What this means is, their energy demand is eliminated from the grid, and is done at times the grid is at it’s capacity or prices are at their peak. This allows the customer to run off their stored solar power while relieving the grid of their demand, A win, win!

 

For the customer this means:

  • Grid independence 

  • The ability to control, manage and participate in their energy future 

  • The ability to respond to market changes and energy needs

 

For developers, this means:

  • Market differentiation

  • The ability to sell more than just solar and increase revenue streams

  • Provide timely and more reliable service offerings 

  • Happier customers and more referrals

 

Welcome to the digital energy market place

And it all starts with microgrids as a personal power plant

One of the early obstacles to microgrid development was the inability to effectively monitor and control and manage energy generation, consumption and storage at the micro (e.g home, business) level.

 

naak’s microgrid controller technology has solved this problem by introducing a reliable, simple to install and cost effective solution. Sales teams can now sell customers what they are asking for and do so competitively against companies still selling solar only.

 

This ability to control and optimize energy usage, coupled with the independence and reliability offered by microgrid technology, is a potent combination for homeowners and businesses seeking affordable clean energy.  But more than anything, it's an exciting new growth opportunity for solar companies.

 

With the new ability to control and automate energy decisions, homeowners can now participate in the digital energy marketplace. And now, with naak's all-in-one managed energy service platform, solar companies can offer this revolutionary technology to their customers while tapping into the rapidly growing market of energy services.

Schedule a free demo of naak's revolutionary energy service platform to experience first hand how to take your solar company to the next level.


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ABOUT US

naak is a new kind of energy service company serving the needs of residential and commercial energy consumers, developers and the grid. Turn Solar and Storage into a microgrid or personal power plant with naak's bolt on technology. If peace of mind is what you want, naak delivers an unparalleled user experience with its ability to control behind the meter loads and the battery storage system. The only platform purpose built for rate tariff optimization, resiliency and fleet management services.