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How solar software tools are helping to accelerate the rate of solar adoption.

As the solar industry continues to grow and as many players see the opportunity in this niche – solar software technologies present the industry with potential for growth while streamlining its business operations. 

Solar software presents a lot of opportunities such as minimizing solar customer acquisition cost to increasing the efficiency of business operations and creating new opportunities for solar software start-up companies. This opportunity exists because of the decreasing solar panel cost and the increasing energy price. Due to this fact, many solar companies will get involved in creating opportunities with the aim of saving time and money and in order to remain competitive in this market.

Furthermore, most solar software tools are created under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Sunshot Initiative’s soft costs program. The software tools target to lower soft costs resulting from the permitting process, transactional costs, supply chain costs, indirect corporate costs, developer profit, customer acquisition costs etc which account for as much as 64% of the total cost of a new solar system. Hence, a lot of solar software is developed with the aim of reducing such soft costs in addition to increasing operational effectiveness like in any other industry.

Today there are many solar software tools that have been created with the above objectives in mind:

  1. Reducing customer acquisition with solar software, for example solar proposal software and switch by generability softwares. 
  2. Saving time and money by applying solar tools such as solar design tool for reducing time taken in developing solar design. For example, easysolar, PVcomplete etc are interesting solar design online tools. 
  3. Solar software for reducing transactional costs especially for small to medium scale commercial solar.
  4. Solar monitoring software for collecting data from solar installations that are already installed.

Solar Software & Solar Design Tool for reducing customer acquisition cost

These solar tools range from online tools that are developed to help solar consumers decide about going solar to simple tools that can be found online that are used to help solar businesses generate solar leads online, for example using a solar panel cost calculator from EnergySage or Geostellar or create solar design for your customers using online or solar design tools that can be uploaded into your cellphone such as the Solargraf.

According to GTM research, acquiring a solar customer in the U.S. costs around 49 cents per watt, which is equivalent to about $3,000 for the typical 6-kilowatt residential rooftop. Hence, solar software tools, including online solar marketplaces like the EnergySage or solar panel cost calculators are used by solar providers to generate solar leads to reach a broader audience. This is done with the use of online search engine optimization (SEO) techniques with the aim of helping to slash time and effort used in customer acquisition. This way solar companies are able to save soft costs while helping to accelerate adoption of solar energy.

In addition, solar software tools like the EnergyPeriscopeGenability Switch, and SolarNexus offer solar proposal softwares that help companies present to their solar customers with solar reports that capture or generate proposal reports showing potential energy savings as well as the solar panel cost. Aurora is a solar design and sales software that is used to reduce soft costs while accelerating the development of solar PV projects that could be impeded by high transactional costs or permitting issues. 

Solar Design tools

Software tools such as EasySolar, PVcomplete, Aurora, SolarNexus are online solar design tools that offer solar companies with software opportunities to reduce time, increase efficiency while reducing solar developer costs of designing a solar PV system. For example, EasySolar is a cloud-based online solar tool for solar projects that can combine both design and sales tools with project management features EasySolar provide a quick design and proposal generator enabling reduction of time and money involved in solar PV development. As a result, using such technologies like EasySolar you can expect to close your sales faster as compared to working without a solar software or solar design tool.

Other tools like PVComplete combine a solar design tool with engineering tools such as AutoCAD platform while utilizing a cloud based PV module database that is able to capture useful data needed for system sizing and design based on solar irradiation. PVComplete can help solar companies to save time amounting to thousand of dollars savings while reducing design errors and increasing efficiency.

Reducing transactional costs of Small commercial solar projects with solar software.

In most instances, small to medium size commercial solar PV projects usually come with high transactional costs just like large commercial businesses and as a result, many investors tend to shy away from these types of projects. As a result, solar software such as Mercatus tool help to structure financing for small solar projects reducing due-diligence and decision making time. Hence, the time taken to approve solar projects of such nature is reduced greatly which translates to low transactional costs. Softwares like Mercatus tool increase deal flow in the process hence helping to reduce costs and saving money associated with developing such small projects.

Monitoring solar PV installations using solar software

With the increasing solar installations and USA alone having over 1 million households going solar in the year 2016, solar monitoring software has become an interesting solar tool needed to monitor and evaluate solar PV installations around the world. As a result, today solar companies can monitor their solar installations to determine in real-time how much money these PV systems are saving their customers for going solar. One example of a solar monitoring software is the Energy Detective (TED) solar energy system. Learn more how this software tool can help you determine how much energy you can save from installed solar panels on your roof.

How about solar software for solar consumers? Can a potential solar buyer benefit from such solar tools? 

When it comes to consumers interested in going solar, solar software and solar tools such as those from EnergySage and Geostellar present a great opportunity for them to accelerate the rate of adoption of solar at a greater scale. Learn more about solar tools that are changing how online users can go solar with minimum costs because solar businesses are able to reduce soft costs for installing a solar panel system. 

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Brad Hodson - December 14, 2016

CRMs and project management software are also bringing in a lot of heat for companies to help them sell more and build better relationships with their customers. This increases lead acquisition, upsell, and referrals thanks to better service being rendered, expanding solar even further.

Just like the solar industry itself, this software category is exploding lately, so it’s making a pretty big dent in how companies are able to effectively grow their customer base and grow their business healthily.

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    Alex - December 14, 2016

    Thanks Brad for your comment and for stopping by.If you are looking for efficiency and better organization solar software is great in helping solar companies focus on their customers more effectively.

    Reply

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