Adrienne SorensenSeptember 17, 20181430
A crucial method in selling solar is sharing with customers how much money they could save on their utility bills. Although in theory the concept is simple, retrieving information to determine financial values can be challenging.
Having to look for prior bill statements then comprehending utility data that does vary from one utility to the next adds another layer of confusion. “...utility data is often complicated and varies greatly from one utility to the next”, said Matt Kuo, VP of products at Urjanet.
Simplifying and Streamlining
Urjanet simplifies the utility data gathering experience. They source electricity information from 809 utilities across the country with customer permission. The API integration permits installers, software providers, solar marketplaces to include the software service to any website for a fee.
“Often, you’re not finding the most recent bill, it’s a bill that’s not associated with the specific location, they can’t find one, and so in many cases this is a much more holistic way to get not only one bill, but up to 12 months of history that we can provide, so that installers can get a holistic picture of what the energy consumption for that location was, and be able to calculate a proposal and a very accurate ROI,” Kuo said.
The API is given as a subscription service and prices are based on the number of data requests and type of data requested. Customers are usually mid- to large-sized companies. There’s a need to standardize utility datasets so solar installers and other customers can quickly translate numbers into proposals for prospective solar buyers.
“We’re really focused on being able to go and get that data, normalize it and then provide it to our customers in a way that makes sense for them, either through a standard delivery file or via APIs,” said Kuo.
The process is pretty straightforward. A company sends an email to a prospect, the prospect opens the email link and lands on a webpage that contains the login credential form, the prospect submits their electric utility login credentials via the secure form, then Urjanet accesses the data and delivers it back to the company.
Customers drawn to this program are solar marketplaces and software companies. Many competing online-generated solar quote proposals are based on averages in the geographic area yet this program generates proposals based on actuals.
Accurate Price Estimate is #1
The company surveyed more than 200 U.S. homeowners who were considering installing solar panels. Interestingly enough, 61% of respondents consider having an accurate price estimate to be the most important factor in their choice of installer. 56% of respondents were also willing to directly link their online utility account to receive a faster or more accurate cost estimate for their solar panel installation.
This survey validates this program’s mission. If you’d more information, click here.
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