Planning for tomorrow: designing solar solutions that meet long-term energy needs


December 5, 2023

As a solar sales professional, you understand the value of a well-fitted solar power system. It's not just about making an immediate impact on your customers' utility bills; it's about ensuring their investment continues to meet their energy needs well into the future.

As a solar sales professional, you understand the value of a well-fitted solar power system. It’s not just about making an immediate impact on your customers’ utility bills; it’s about ensuring their investment continues to meet their energy needs well into the future. 

As a solar sales professional, you understand the value of a well-fitted solar power system. It’s not just about making an immediate impact on your customers’ utility bills; it’s about ensuring their investment continues to meet their energy needs well into the future. 

While solar panels coupled with a solar battery generally lead to healthy savings in the short to medium term, there are scenarios where an improperly sized system, lifestyle changes, or shifts in energy pricing can affect the anticipated benefits and create customer dissatisfaction. Here’s how you can help your customers avoid surprises and maximize their solar returns, and factor this into your sales conversations.

The challenge of an improperly sized system

An improperly sized solar system can be the root cause of less-than-expected savings. If a system is too small and doesn’t generate enough power to meet the household’s energy needs, customers will still have to rely too heavily on the grid, which can be costly, especially with today’s frequent energy price hikes.  And while this may not be the case in the short term, it could be a real possibility in the future. 

This underscores the importance of thoroughly assessing a customer’s current energy usage and designing a system that can accommodate the present, plus any planned future changes, like a home extension or purchasing an EV for example.

Lifestyle changes and energy use

Life is dynamic, and so is energy consumption. A customer’s energy needs today might not be the same two or five years down the line. For instance, the arrival of a new family member, a switch to a home-based job where you use power throughout the day, or the decision to move to an all-electric home, or purchasing an EV, can significantly increase energy demands. 

These lifestyle shifts need to be factored into the initial solar system design and sales consultation process to help customers avoid future reliance on more expensive grid energy as much as possible.

The all-electric home transition

The transition to an all-electric home is a growing trend, driven by a desire to reduce carbon footprints and future-proof living spaces. However, this transition often results in increased energy consumption, which should be anticipated during the solar planning and sales process. Recommending a system that only covers current energy usage without considering future electric appliances, heating systems, or upgrading to an EV may lead to insufficient power generation down the line and the sold solar system not meeting these new demands. 

In many instances it makes sense to upsize the system recommendation to cover for these things, even if it means that some customers may not be willing to go ahead at the higher cost of a larger system. It is far preferable to build positive customer sentiment by ‘missing’ out on these sales, than creating negativity and unwillingness to recommend, by selling customers solutions that do not meet their expectations down the line. This can have negative impacts on your business down the track.  

Planning for price increases

Utility prices are far from static. When planning a solar installation, it’s wise to consider not only current grid energy prices but also potential increases. A solar system designed to cover 90% of current energy bills might not suffice if energy prices surge as they have been doing for the past 2 years. By planning for price hikes and helping customers see the bigger long-term picture in relation to their own situation, you can help ensure that they continue to enjoy reduced utility bills throughout the lifespan of their solar system.

The increasing importance of battery storage

A solar battery is increasingly the linchpin in maximizing the utility of a solar PV system. It allows for the storage of excess energy generated during peak sun hours, which can be used during the night or on cloudy days. A properly sized battery ensures that your customers can minimize their reliance on the grid and maximize their use of solar energy, leading to substantial savings on their electric bills over and above what their solar panels can achieve on their own. 

Modularity is increasingly key to create customized energy solutions that are future proofed

The flexibility of AlphaESS’ latest offering, The AlphaESS Smile S5 battery, available exclusively through Powow, stands out with its modular design. It offers you the ability to customize systems with more precision, covering more of the addressable battery market with one product.  

This innovative battery solution comes in 5kWh modules that can be scaled up to a 30kWh total capacity, in increments of 5kWh battery modules. This modularity means you can offer tailor-made solutions to your customers, ensuring that their solar system aligns with their current energy consumption while also providing the flexibility to expand as their needs evolve. In addition, because this battery solution can be either stacked or placed side by side, you also have more flexibility in the installation process. 

This flexibility is not just convenient; it’s cost-effective for the customer, gives you more flexibility in designing the right solution, and can provide a future revenue source as customers’ needs change and they want to add more power. 

The key is to highlight the pros and cons of doing this up front, or adding more power capacity down the track. This is also a valuable level to activate in the sales process, especially if you can demonstrate that with the current offer or pricing that you have on the table, it could make more sense to upscale straight from the get-go vs down the track.

The Powow Virtual Power Plant (VPP)

In addition to stocking top of the range panels, batteries and inverters, Powow also has the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to offering your customers one of the most comprehensive renewable energy solutions around, our state-of-the art VPP.

When your customers join the VPP (its free to join), they will get paid $0.55/kWh for any energy that is discharged from their battery during VPP events when the grid needs a little help to stay stable for everyone. These premium payments can yield as much as $200 in extra savings every year, even when offset against any grid energy that your customers have to purchase to replace battery energy discharged. It’s just another way that you can create value and reasons to adopt in your sales process. You can read more about the Powow VPP here & here. 

Plus, as you onboard customers onto the Powow VPP you can also unlock an additional revenue stream for your business. You could add $1000’s to your bottom line as you onboard more and more customers.  Contact us today to find out how much you could earn and how it works.

As solar solutions increasingly become integral to our energy landscape, the role of the solar salesperson is not just to sell a product but to provide a service that encompasses present needs and future contingencies. 

By asking the right questions and planning ahead, you can guide your customers toward a solar system that won’t just reduce their utility bills today but will also provide them with sustainable, long-term value and peace of mind.

Remember, a satisfied customer is your best advocate. Even if they don’t purchase now, they’ll be more likely to come back to you in the future if you create the right customer experience and transparency within your sales consultation process. When they see that you’ve not only met their immediate needs, have their best interests at heart, and have also helped safeguard their future, they’ll know they made the right choice — and they’ll likely thank you for it and recommend your business to their friends and neighbours.

Reach out to one of our Powow Consultants today to discuss your solar wholesale needs and current offers and pricing,  and we’ll help you build complete solar packages that meet your customer’s needs.

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