Dan Ross, VP of Sales at Savant Power, and JD Tofteland, Vice President of New Construction and Commercial at Infinity Energy, share insights and trends when it comes to adopting solar and battery components in the homebuilding industry. Nick Brown, President of Build Smart, facilitates the discussion and shares information about California’s energy mandate, according to which new single-family homes, as well as multi-family dwellings up to three stories high must include solar panels.
JD Tofteland discusses the opportunity to improve customer satisfaction, since new homeowners from all over the U.S. are interested in the advantages of solar in terms of energy independence. According to him, the energy code in California has helped fuel a better life for homebuyers, which can be a strategic advantage for solar-based companies. “We are talking to every homeowner to make sure they know how to use their solar system, they know how to power up their house, they know what the monitoring looks like … it’s a component that gets overlooked by a lot of solar installers in the new home space,” JD says and shares how Infinity’s customer success team capitalizes on educating homeowners to improve satisfaction. “We’ve been able to get some incredible feedback for the builder,” JD says.
Dan talks about presenting the advantages of solar to new homeowners and the importance of energy storage systems in cases when the energy grid is affected. He mentions how the 2020 winter storm in Texas affected the demand for resilience solutions that didn’t exist before. JD, who lived in Austin at the time, shares his experience of not having electricity for a prolonged period of time and all the problems that created for Texans. “What we are seeing basically across the board is the evolution of the homebuyer and consumer markets,” he says in reference to the extreme climate events that have impacted the U.S.
Dan talks about the builders who stepped up and implemented smart home solutions in the past, and how “smart energy” presents a similar opportunity today. “It’s a great opportunity for builders to leverage that, they can differentiate themselves by saying ‘not only are we putting solar on the home, but look at all of this great information about how much energy your home is producing and consuming,” he says.
Nick asks the panelists about best practices when implementing solar and battery components. According to JD, it’s important to have subject matter experts who can cascade the information internally. “Having that person internally is step number one and then connecting that information to the sales centers is probably the biggest opportunity,” he notes.
Dan shares information about Savant Power’s methods of reducing energy consumption in electric-heavy devices. In terms of energy storage, Dan talks about being panel-agnostic in order to make it easy for builders to adapt solar systems. He also shares an innovative app that is used to provide meaningful energy data in a digestible way for any consumer.
The group ends the presentation with a discussion on Savant Power’s Blue Heron smart energy luxury home.