For those not immersed in the space, energy storage systems (ESS) can be a tricky concept to understand. As an installer, it’s critical to effectively communicate the many benefits of ESS to customers, to assist them in making an informed purchase decision that best suits the needs of their home.
Here are five communications tactics installers can adopt to help guide sales conversations:
- Highlight how ESS help the customer and the planet
One of the most desirable features of energy storage systems is the ability to save energy for later use, whether it be for power outages or to cut costs during peak hours of energy consumption. In states like California, the grid can sometimes be unreliable due to factors like wildfires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. With ESS, customers can store energy for later use, which is beneficial in situations like the above where an extended power outage is anticipated.
Customers should also understand that ESS serve a greater purpose than backup power generation. Some energy storage systems can also be easily installed and AC-coupled with an existing solar system, helping homeowners cut costs daily and help benefit the planet through using clean energy. Customers with a time-of-use plan can decide when, where, and how their energy is used to offset peak periods when energy costs are the highest.
- Capitalize on financial incentives
A major piece of legislation we saw come from last year was the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. This legislation permits homeowners to claim a 30 percent tax credit on eligible energy storage installation projects, even when paired with an existing PV system, and filed with the IRS. The IRA allows this benefit through 2032. The residential battery system tax credit is currently uncapped. Since the current market has such a demand for energy storage systems, we can potentially see additional incentives at both a state and federal level.
Beyond the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, many states already have, or are planning to implement, ESS-related incentives. New Jersey and Massachusetts already have plans in place, and New York proposed a roadmap to achieve 6GW of energy by 2030. California has long been the hallmark to adopt clean energy solutions.
In December 2022, the California Public Utilities Commission passed a proposal that greatly reduces the amount of potential savings for solar system installations without storage. Due to the passage of this proposal, as of April 13, 2023, grid-tied systems in California will rarely be installed without an ESS.
- Promote three “easy” points
Some customers might not fully grasp the concept of energy storage systems. In these instances, highlight three easy points – ease of installation, ease of use, and easy on the eye. Since some ESS can be AC-coupled and paired with an existing solar system, or can be connected directly to the grid, they are much quieter when compared to traditional fossil fuel or diesel generators. They’re also much easier on the eye since many designs are sleek, quiet, and floor-standing, wall-supported – meaning they mesh better with their surroundings and are more aesthetically pleasing.
- Brush up on national trends
It doesn’t require a lot of research to see the market’s explosive growth in energy storage systems usage in recent years. With an increase during the past decade in lithium-ion production, ESS have become much more attainable for residential and commercial applications. While setbacks like pandemic-induced supply chain issues have occurred, according to American Clean Power, the ESS market saw continued growth in the last quarter of 2022–the biggest quarter ever for clean energy installations. The demand is there for energy storage systems, and for many potential customers it’s only a matter of time before they decide to purchase. During this time, installers should take the time to educate would-be ESS customers and capitalize on national trends to help customers make informed purchase decisions.
- Reiterate cost savings
Cost savings are a key factor in the market’s explosive growth in energy storage systems. When communicating with customers, be sure to highlight the ongoing savings they will see, and provide them with resources to compare quotes. Resources like EnergySage offer free and detailed advice to help find the right installer.
Be sure to communicate with your customers the long-term savings they are likely to see from ESS and develop a close-knit relationship with manufacturers to effectively communicate key features of the product.
Chris Canfield is the Director of ESS Sales at LG Electronics USA. The LG Electronics Energy Storage Systems business represents a fast-growing new area for LG in the United States, leveraging the company’s renewable energy expertise to unlock value for customers and plug into the new era of sustainability. Based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., LG Electronics USA Inc. is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics Inc., a $63 billion global innovator in technology and manufacturing.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own, and do not necessarily reflect those held by pv magazine.
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.
You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.
Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.