Utah — Vivint Solar says it wants homeowners to have the power to choose the kind of experience they get from their energy provider and is now launching a new power purchase agreement (PPA) option that includes one simple rate for both solar and battery storage in California.
Vivint Solar offers multiple options for homeowners to benefit from solar energy, including loans which facilitate direct ownership of solar systems, and PPAs or leases which allow homeowners to benefit from solar without owning it themselves.
PPAs are contracts in which a solar company, like Vivint Solar, arranges for the design, permitting, financing, and installation of a solar energy system, and in exchange, the homeowner agrees to purchase the solar energy the system produces. This option allows homeowners to benefit from powering their home with solar energy, with the convenience of having Vivint Solar finance the system, own it, operate, and maintain it on behalf of the homeowner.
In California, when homeowners choose the PPA option, they can now include a battery along with their solar panels.
A solar battery stores a homeowner’s excess solar energy for times when it’s needed most and can detect a blackout within seconds to restore a homeowner’s power to critical loads. These features can be very economically beneficial and convenient, especially during times when homeowners are experiencing power outages, like those recently experienced in parts of California, or during peak demand hours when utility rates are highest.
“As we look to offer more viable options, we see a clear need, especially in markets like California, to provide a number of solutions for solar energy and storage. This includes the new option of a PPA that features solar + storage,” said David Bywater, CEO of Vivint Solar. “Residential solar paired with a battery will help keep the lights on and provide power when homeowners need it the most.”
Vivint Solar’s new solar + storage PPA option comes on the heels of recent wildfires and power blackouts throughout California. While its launch is timely, Vivint Solar has been continually focused on providing more options for its customers, while simultaneously trying to gain more understanding into what consumers really want. In August, Vivint Solar engaged Qualtrics to survey several California homeowners about their attitudes regarding power needs and power outages. The findings of this survey were quite illuminating.
According to the survey results, 51% of Californians reported that they have experienced a power outage in their home that lasted longer than two hours in the last two years. Sixty-two percent of respondents reported that they felt it was likely that they would experience a power outage within the next year and 40% reported that they would consider it “very” or “somewhat” stressful if a power outage lasting longer than two hours occurred tomorrow. With the wildfires and deliberate power outages by electric utilities across California, the concerns of Californians are likely to increase as more and more homeowners are affected for longer periods of time.
When asked what three capabilities they’d most like to have access to during a power outage, surveyed residents listed refrigeration first at 61%, air conditioning and heat next at 48%, and lighting third at 38%. Other capabilities included: communication devices, entertainment devices, internet, and home security devices. With these responses in mind, it is no surprise that over 40% of survey participants said that they were considering purchasing residential solar energy and storage options.