Energy storage: sizing and sales part 1

Monday, July 26, 2021
Veli Markovic

What batteries does a customer actually need

In part 1 of this two part series we look at on grid renewable energy battery storage systems, how to size with or without existing solar and what questions to ask the customer. 

On grid battery storage with solar is a complex area and in this article we ask the following questions:

  • What are the psychological drivers when it comes to purchasing energy storage? 
  • What if there is an existing solar system? 
  • What other pertinent information do I need to know?

We systematically go through the correct process to obtain pertinent information from the customer in part 1 of this 2 part series.

Energy Storage: the drivers

Why would a residential customer connected to the grid want to purchase an energy storage solution in the first place?

  • I want to tell the  electricity company to go and get . . .
  • I want to show the world what I can do
  • I have the money to do so, eg holiday house
  • I want to save some money
  • I want power 24/7 despite grid failure
  • Possible environmental concerns

The salesperson needs to understand the customer’s psychological drivers and the results determine what kind of system is required and how it should be presented.

Energy Storage: grid failure

Let’s talk about grid failure. In some cases the customers is the victim of an unstable grid:

  • Grid fails due to unreliable supply
  • Certain loads must be serviced at all times
  • If the decision to adopt energy storage is based on grid outages financial concerns, i.e. what will I lose with no power??

These kinds of customers differ in regards to their needs from a customer who wants an energy storage system with all the bells and whistles from a status point of view.

Energy Storage options

Energy storage system options, the basics:

  • Batteries just there when the grid fails, UPS, emergency backup etc
  • Batteries are there when grid is available, tariff optimization a possibility
  • Batteries with grid and when grid fails, both backup and optimization

What you offer the customer is dependent on many factors and the functionality of the equipment you offer is one of them. Not all energy storage systems do “ the lot” but if asked, most customers will assume backup functionality as a given and this is not always the case.

Energy Storage: wants v needs

  • What does your customer want? 
  • What do they think they need? 
  • What do they actually need?
  • What are they willing to pay for?

It’s all about matching expectations with reality and the final arbiter is their economic reality!                                                                                                                                 

Do they have the finances to pay for what they want?

Energy Storage: motivation

You must determine the customer's motivation:

  • Is it mainly a psychological driver; a want
  • Is it mainly a need, i.e. energy at all cost
  • Financial, cost of storage pays for itself, reduces demand charges, business can continue operating if grid fails

Once you have determined their motivation and financial willingness to “spend the dollars” you can move onto the next step

Energy Storage: sales process

Energy storage and solar sales process:

  • Establish their existing solar status, existing solar 
  • This is a yes/no process
  • If have solar, may need to upgrade, if no solar need a complete system

Find out more in our customer stories:

More Blog news:

About the author

Veli Markovic

CEC Designer
Veli has nearly two decades of experience in the renewable industry. He is passionate about providing people with valuable education and is highly regarded throughout the industry as an educator and operator.
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