Solar generation: Tendril®, a provider of Energy Services Management (ESM) solutions, announced an end-to-end solution for utilities that want to optimize the marketing and engagement of community solar. With this new solution – encompassing marketing, solar sizing and ongoing customer engagement – utilities can now accelerate the development of community solar projects while providing a very personal energy experience. Whereas residential solar used to be an impenetrable market for utilities, it is now not only an energy source utilities can tap, but also an engaging service they can market and sell to a customer-base that has been underserved by rooftop solar providers.
Solar Energy – A Tale of Two Installations
Rooftop PV has seen significant growth, however only a small number of households can actually capitalize on rooftop solar. According to a recent NREL and DOE survey, 50 percent of homeowners cannot support these systems because they live in apartments, rent their homes, have unsuitable roofs or don’t plan to stay in the residence long enough to see a payoff from traditional rooftop solar. This means that for every homeowner that installs rooftop solar there are many, many more that aren’t able to do so. Personalized community solar solves this quandary.
“People want choices in their energy supply; they want solar,” said Julia Hamm, SEPA’s CEO and President. “From careful siting at key locations on the grid to providing local jobs, we see huge benefits in [community solar] projects.”
Despite the potential, existing efforts by utilities to offer community solar programs have thus far lacked the intimacy and personalized ownership that has been the backbone of the success behind rooftop PV. By applying big data and analytics to help facilitate the marketing and engagement functions, utilities can ensure the vast majority of the population will benefit from solar.
The Tendril Community Solar Solution
The Tendril Community Solar solution is comprised of three distinct offerings that can be used together or separately, depending on the needs of the utility:
1. Customer Acquisition – Designed to lower the high cost of customer acquisition, this offering includes an online tool and direct mail/email communications that:
• Educate customers about the value of community solar and generate interest by showing individualized benefits.
• Establish a strong flow of inbound leads by targeting customers based on their propensity to act and driving them towards a call to action.
• Create personalized proposals that increase uptake rates.
2. Lead Qualification and Pre-Sales Engagement – Developed to streamline the close process and ensure a steady stream of leads, this offering leverages data, analytics and individualized communications to:
• Help customers understand their unique financial impact and available options in terms of panel sizing, pricing, and savings.
• Execute drip campaigns that keep interested customers engaged and accelerate deal flow.
• Provide real time personalized proposal generation to reduce friction in the enrollment process.
3. Ongoing Consumer Engagement – Created so customers can manage their community solar panels as if they were on their own roof, this offering consists of an online portal and Home Energy Reports that:
• Provide enhanced communications around the customer’s real-time PV generation data, as well as useful tips and actions.
• Offer insight and virtual control of electricity generation and consumption information, as well as the ability to share data with friends, family and neighbors.
• Deliver targeted insights and offers for related products and services, allowing users to change their behaviors to make better use of their generation.
The Tendril ESM Platform Delivers Superior Engagement and Control
Developed over the past 10 years and honed through millions of customer interactions, the Tendril ESM Platform is the only flexible, scalable, enterprise-class software platform that serves as the connective tissue between buyers and sellers of energy goods and services. It is based on a proprietary home simulation model that processes terabytes of data on consumer interactions. By extending that capability to community solar, Tendril is expanding its value to the rapidly evolving energy market. Leveraging the unique capabilities only available on the Tendril ESM Platform – including micro targeting, personalization, and “zero” data functionality, which provides detailed information on the homeowner and residence with just a name and address – utilities can compete in the Distributed Energy market and meet consumer demand for personalized energy services.
“Some may see solar as a threat to the utility business model,” said Adrian Tuck, CEO, Tendril. “However, forward-thinking utilities don’t see it that way. They see that community solar represents a tremendous opportunity – utilities can leverage their unique understanding of consumers and a low cost of capital to deliver solar in a way that enhances their business and builds the foundation for stronger relationships. Tendril’s ESM enables utilities to win in solar.”
Tendril is already in advanced discussions with a number of forward thinking utilities to roll out community solar installations.
Tendril is defining data-driven Energy Services Management (ESM) for the evolving energy market. Our open, cloud-based software platform provides the infrastructure, analytics and understanding required to deliver personalized energy services. This targeted approach drives new business opportunities, delights consumers and has led to some of the industry’s highest engagement and satisfaction rates.