Extreme weather events are pushing consumers into solar and residential storage

On October 14, 2016, workers lift solar panels from the roof of their home in Scripps Ranch, San Diego, California.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Extreme weather events in the United States – from wildfires and droughts in the West, to snowstorms and floods to the south and southeast – have disrupted power grids this year. As a result, homeowners are buying solar and energy storage systems more than ever, according to SolarReviews.com.

Information from SolarReviews.com clearly shows the link between extreme weather events and the demand for solar systems. In the wake of California’s devastating wildfires and droughts, the website saw more than 358% of the solar eclipse queries asked by California residents between June 30 and August 6 for more than a year.

The region experienced several power outages last year. PG&E has stopped power in many cases when dry conditions and high winds increase the risk of fire. The state is also struggling with power outages, and California has issued flexible alerts that require customers to disconnect when use is in high demand. In some cases, rotations occur when power supply is short-lived.

A similar incident took place in Oregon earlier this summer, when Portland reached 116 degrees Celsius. SolarReviews The website was launched between June 25 and June 30. Compared to the same period in 2020, the state’s solar estimate increased by 919%.

This is not unique to the West. Heavy snowstorms in Texas and South Africa in February followed a day-long power outage that affected millions of customers and more than 150 people. SolarReviews reports that in Texas, between February 13 and February 17, it saw an 850% drop in queries.

“These environmentalists have a completely different perspective on solar and battery life,” said Andy Sandy, founder and president of Solar Revives.

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A.D. Launched in 2012, SolarReviews has garnered more than 25 million unique web visitors as well as very local quotes on solar energy websites. Visitors to the website have the option to request a quote, and SolarReviews earns money by selling that information to companies operating in the user space.

Complexity is growing

Sandy says customers’ questions about the sun are becoming more sophisticated. In the first questionnaire, do you like “Do solar panels work?” Now people are asking questions about the type of solar system they should get if they want to connect electric vehicles.

Landy: Most of this transition is verbal: Most people know someone who has found solar panels, so their effectiveness is now accepted.

However, potential savings in electricity bills have long been a major driver.

»[Customers] The decision is based on economic benefits. The key is to make money. So whether your initiative is local or financial, you will come to the same decision.

Andy noticed another shift. Initially, customers were interested in fast-return systems. But over the past few years, more and more people are looking for systems that provide the highest energy security.

In order for the solar system to operate normally when the central grid is lowered, there must be a battery storage in place in each house or building. If the service is disconnected, the roof panels will not work on their own, because power will not flow back into the grid to protect utility workers repairing wires.

According to a recent survey from SolarReviews, battery storage installations have been growing since 2016, with three-quarters of installations being completed in the last five years by 2020.

National fingerprint installers such as Sunrun, Sunnova and SunPower offer storage options using products from Inspiration Energy and SolarEdge. Goldman Sachs predicts $ 1 billion for the first time in 2022.

A separate survey from SunPower showed similar trends, with one-third of homeowners citing power outages as a driving force and turning to the sun. Two-thirds of homeowners with energy storage say the breakup is the reason for their purchase.

“Following a major power outage, the next wave of solar owners see battery storage as an important part of their solar system,” says the study.

Advanced software systems also allow customers to use their batteries, even though the grid is running as usual. In states where the cost of use is high, for example, the battery can be charged when electricity prices are low, and then it can power the house when prices are high. In addition, in some states, net measurement – where solar power owners weigh on the grid – can be a particularly attractive option with storage systems.

He said the companies in the solar system, which have headlines, usually have a national footprint, and he believes the best solar companies are small, local companies in the face of energy shortages.

“I believe the sun is by nature a local service business. I don’t believe in corporate sunshine,” he said. They were not really good at after-sales service.

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