The benefits of sophisticated analytics go beyond just the customer. Data-plus-analysis will also help financing companies reduce their risk by backing projects that deliver the most financial value to homeowners. Data is also an important component for utilities as they manage the influx of solar onto the grid.

“Part of the data [utilities] need is a lot of information about how the grid is performing at the distribution level and on the feeder level,” said Crocker. “Having data about what is happening at each home around generation and consumption is key for the utility to make good decisions about how to balance the grid.”

Home for sale: Includes south-facing roof

Data will play an even more important role in residential solar growth in the future. In the near term, Crocker sees data enabling intelligent homes that automatically manage the operation of AC units, hot water heaters, EV chargers and other major loads through machine-learning-based predictions that optimize when appliances run in order to maximize comfort and savings.

In the longer term, data-driven automation and analytics will help transform residential solar systems into sources of income for homeowners — and, in the process, change how people evaluate real estate.

“Homeowners will begin to look at a home as a source of revenue. That means they’ll start looking at things like whether there is a south-facing roof, what the past weather patterns have been, and the historical production of solar nearby,” said Marett.

As with any sound financial decision, having the best possible information is critical; the insights available from household energy data are key in making the jump to a homeowner-led energy economy. Homeowners will be able to deploy a home energy controller that can predict their consumption and solar energy production due to weather and combine this with open-market energy pricing models to plan their home energy system behaviors, said Marett. “We are on the upswing of an information age where all of this data is available and can be analyzed in powerful ways.”

Source: greentechmedia