Code changes, COVID, supply chain – there’s always something impacting a solar installation business. With our Power Forward! series, a collaboration with BayWa r.e, we help solar contractors and EPCs understand the solar industry’s pressing issues, explore budding market trends and, well, power forward (!) to what comes next. Head to our YouTube page to subscribe and get an alert for each new episode (and other Solar Builder video side projects), or keep watch on this page for updates.
Episode 12: Takeaways for residential solar installers at RE+ 2023 | Power Forward!
RE+ 2023 was the largest solar industry conference to date. What were the key takeaways and important product trends to note for solar installers? On this edition of Power Forward!, Editor Chris Crowell discusses with BayWa r.e. Marketing Relationship Manager Daniela Schwartzman and VP of Product Strategy David Dunlap. Topics include:
- 1:57 – Overall solar installer vibe of RE+ 2023
- 2:32 – Surprising observations from RE+?
- 5:07 – Module supply and pricing outlook into 2024
- 7:49 – Strategies for buying modules in this environment
- 11:04 – Trends in energy storage market now
- 11:45 – There’s 1 million ESS options. What’s an installer to do?
Episode 11: Post-NEM planning: How solar + storage can be a better business model
Battery storage systems are more than just home energy backup – they can also back up your solar installation business. David Dunlap, VP of product strategy with BayWa r.e. joins Power Forward! to explain how energy storage system (ESS) sales can create a more financially sustainable business model for solar installers –regardless of net metering policy. We discuss …
0:49 – Key updates in energy storage (ESS) product market
1:56 – Is NOT selling ESS risky for solar installers?
3:35 – How California solar installers adjusted to NEM 3.0 with ESS
5:32 – Design tools for NEM 3.0 solar + storage
7:13 – The financial case for selling ESS regardless of state and NEM policy
8:24 – Operational changes I’ll need to make to add ESS business
11:14 – Post-install? Build a service department as an income stream
12:19 – Does ESS brand power help?
13:50 – The change that’s coming for solar businesses
Episode 10: How to Start Selling Energy Storage (The Right Way)
Pairing energy storage with home solar is more important than ever – but selling and designing a system that meets a customers’ needs – and fits their budget – is not easy. Today on Power Forward! we learn how to start selling energy storage the right way with Aaron Bingham and Blake Akin from BayWa r.e. We discuss …
0:33 – Common problems selling energy storage five years ago
3:26 – What are those absolute first steps to take before selling energy storage products?
5:05 – Tips for marketing ESS and the power of brand familiarity
6:40 – Energy storage systems that stand out right now
9:12 – Key differences from a solar-only sale
10:48 – How to handle the “whole-home backup” expectation
13:42 – How to handle the longer sales process?
15:16 – The impact of main panel upgrade avoidance
16:00 – Preparing customers for the future of the all-electric home
Episode 9: State of the Solar Industry Heading into 2023
The solar industry had many big storylines in 2022, but nothing was perhaps more pressing than solar module supply. We have clarity on AD/CVD. Next up to figure out is the Uyghur Force Labor Protection Act (UFLPA). How reliable is supply right now and going forward? In our State of the Solar Industry episode of Power Forward!, David Dunlap, VP of product strategy with U.S. solar distributor BayWa r.e., discussed all the key challenges in the market, plus products to watch in 2023. Read the transcript here.
Episode 8: Solar installer strategy planning in 2023 and beyond
Solar installer business strategy is not one size fits all. On this Power Forward! we chat with Robert Wolff, VP of Strategy with BayWa r.e., about the questions solar leaders should ask of their business to best lay that strategic foundation. With the market potential in 2023 and beyond (as well as the ongoing supply struggles), strategy planning might be more important than ever. Read the transcript right here.
Episode 7: Inflation Reduction Act and RE+ 2022 preview
David Dunlap and Scott Snyder from BayWa r.e. join Power Forward! this week to discuss impactful aspects of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for solar installers, to highlight new partnerships, and to preview some standout events at the 2022 RE+ conference in Anaheim (Sept. 19-21). Read part of the transcript right here.
Episode 6: Crash Course in Solar Installer Financial Health
On this episode of Power Forward, we get a crash course in solar installer financial health. What are “healthy” installers doing that struggling installers are not doing? And if you’re not struggling now, how can you best protect against the market’s volatility? Rachel Shapira, residential finance director at BayWa r.e. gives us some in-depth insight. Read the transcript right here.
Episode 5: How to be an agile, resilient solar installation business
The last week of March started with the sold-out 2022 NABCEP CE conference and ended with the Department of Commerce initiating the anti-circumvention trade case. On this episode of Power Forward!, BayWa r.e. VP of Operations David Dunlap and VP of Sales Keith Ostwald help us put it all in perspective. We recap some NABCEP highlights and then discuss how solar installers can remain resilient amid the market uncertainty. Read the transcript here.
Episode 4: Growth paths for solar installation businesses in 2022
Congrats: you own/run a solar installation business. Now where do you go from here? How do you get there? We ask Tiernay Marsh, regional sales rep with BayWa r.e. Solar Systems all about solar installer “growth.” What are the questions to ask? What are typical stumbling blocks? What are examples she’s seen of successful growth strategies? Read the transcript here.
Episode 3: Solar supply chain overview and an outlook for 2022
We’re diving deep into solar supply chain issues with David Dunlap, vice president of operations with BayWa r.e. Solar Systems. We pick David’s brain about the current state of things from his vantage point. Read the transcript here.
Episode 2: How to Grow a Solar Business in Uncertain Times
Preston Booker, Head of Key Accounts with BayWa r.e., explains how solar businesses can team with a partner to navigate these challenging times and maintain (or exceed!) their growth trajectories in the coming year. Read the transcript here.
Episode 1: Talking energy storage systems, solar panel recycling and policy
Kate Collardson and Aaron Bingham, product experts at BayWa r.e. and hosts of the Solar Tech Talk podcast, chat with us about energy storage products to watch, solar panel recycling and local policy issues heading into 2022. Read more here.