Selling a $15,000 to $40,000 storage system add-on isn’t easy, but with the right approach you can build it into your solar sale and satisfy your homeowner at the same time. Homeowners tend to shy away from the addition of storage due to price, but they also miss the true value of what storage can do for their existing or soon-to-be purchased solar system and their long-term billing cycle. Though the need for energy storage can change geographically, the basic sales approach can work anywhere in the United States.
There are three key drivers of the value proposition to walk a homeowner through that supports and drives the decision to purchase storage: the economics, the security and the technology.
1. The Economics
The economics of storage-only does not always have a payback profile. That said, the economics of a solar + storage system does have a positive payback almost everywhere in the United States. Most homeowners would pay for a solution that gave peace of mind during blackouts, natural disasters or severe weather; so the ability to have an investment pay itself off is a great selling point for something that also offers security and resiliency while not always necessary for the rest of the solar system to work. A history of U.S. generator sales demonstrates payback is not always the most critical factor. There is little economic return to a prestigious automobile, swimming pool or even a fancy roof, but these are decisions that homeowners feel strongly about every day. That said, there is a payback with solar + storage.
2. The Security
Homeowners treasure having a safe space, independence and something that is theirs. Rolling blackouts, fires and utility rate increases put their security at risk. If a homeowner has medical needs, is aging or has young children, then consistent power can be very important. Buying energy storage is an opportunity to support the safety and resilience of homeowners. It is a reality that without the electrical utility, a home cannot fully function. Moreover, with families working from home more regularly now in the age of COVID-19, there is an economic argument to protect employment by assuring a family has consistent power to do their jobs. Storage offers independence, security, certainty and safety for the whole family.
3. The Technology
Buying a battery today is not the same as buying a battery 20 years ago. These relatively small units can power a homeowner’s critical needs with ease and safety. They have sophisticated capabilities that allow homeowners to be their own power supply and not depend on the utility. Solar without storage puts power back onto the electrical grid, but most solar does not give a homeowner access to their own solar production in a critical situation when they need it most. Storage changes that with a simple app-based interface that allows a homeowner to choose how and when to use their power – a choice solar does not routinely present.
I personally would want my energy advocate to walk me through the impact storage + solar would have on my life, so I know my options.
For example, I would appreciate the honest walk-through of why you would choose this option if you were me. “With this solar system, you will be saving $50,000 over the lifetime of the system. I would suggest that we add a battery to the solar system to ensure your home can access that power during outages. With changing weather patterns (fires, storms, hurricanes, etc.) and adverse weather events being at peak levels, not having to face weeks of power outages, keeping your family safe and happy while saving money on your power bill is why I advise my customers to go solar + storage. You will always have power even when all your neighbors are blacked out.”
This is just one example of how to start a dialog that opens a conversation around the economics, the security and safety that is presented in having storage. You can further use the above points to deep dive on partial vs. full backup solutions, incentives and timing, and why each leads to additional points of value for the homeowner.
The largest barrier to helping a customer make a critical buying decision is our mindset that comes from our understanding of the value proposition. We also need to know how to present the simplest path to sharing such. What is your path?