Three Ways Homeowners Can Take Advantage of the Changing Solar Market
After more than 16 years of steady growth, the U.S. rooftop solar market experienced a small slowdown in growth this year. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), U.S. rooftop solar installations boomed from 2012 to 2015 with an eye-popping average year-over-year growth rate of 63 percent.
In 2016, the growth rate of installed rooftop solar slowed to 16 percent, and then in 2017, the growth rate dropped to 2.4 percent. Despite this decline, some innovative manufacturers introduced exciting new solar products and services.
Here are three ways homeowners are benefiting from these new offerings in the home solar market.
1. Next-generation solar technology is saving consumers money in entirely new ways. Part of the inspiration for the Flex PowerPlay solar system is to ensure homeowners can save significant amount of money by going solar. The economics of solar dimmed recently as utilities dropped the rates they pay homeowners for any excess solar energy they produce. To address this shift, Flex created new tools that enable homeowners to utilize more of the renewable energy they make on site with local battery storage, instead of feeding it back into the grid, and seamlessly control how much energy the household is using—all in one simple, elegant experience.
2. Home solar is quickly becoming more integrated with the connected home. The first attempts to integrate residential solar systems with smart home solutions were rather clunky. Many smart home solutions offered third-party add-ons and rudimentary apps that would display only a few simple savings figures. The recent market contraction gave solar manufacturers a new incentive for creating more seamless, smart and connected home packages. For instance, the new Flex PowerPlay system takes things to a new level by giving homeowners sophisticated new ways to manage their own energy consumption—including the first real-time energy usage data and powerful new automated tools to avoid peak energy rates.
3. Installing home solar is becoming a quicker, more turnkey process. As it becomes more integrated with various smart home solutions, solar technology is becoming more sophisticated. Many solar providers realize the installation process needs to be much simpler and quicker. Flex PowerPlay is an easy system to roll out (less than two hours for most homes) yet offers several customer benefits, even during the install phase. For example, system dashboards enable homeowners to visualize the progress of their solar installation, and after the system has been installed, Flex offers premium support as standard for the PowerPlay system.
According to SEIA’s 2017 Solar Market Insight Report, the outlook for solar remains bright in the U.S. despite the recent market contraction, with expected solar PV capacity expected to nearly triple over the next five years. Combined with a new generation of consumer-focused features, this bodes well for both clean energy and today's smart consumer seeking more savings.