Effortless savings with solar + battery
How Jennifer nets up to $100 each month on the Adaptive Retail Rate
Meet Jennifer from Katy, Texas. Jennifer, a Sunnova customer and employee, was one of the first customers to join our Adaptive Retail Rate program – exclusively offered by David Energy for Sunnova customers. The program allows her to take advantage of her Sunnova solar + battery system to save money, optimize her system and feel great about her energy.
We sat down with Jennifer to talk about her energy goals, making the most of her solar and battery investment, and getting to effortless savings with the Adaptive Retail Rate.
“I just sit back and wait for the credits on my bill. And my house runs exactly how it’s supposed to.”
David Energy: Hey Jennifer, it’s great to chat with you today. To kick it off, could tell me a little bit about your home and its energy set up?
Jennifer Hicks: We live in Katy, Texas, a suburb of Houston. Our house was built in 1996, and it’s not very efficient. We were looking to get more predictability when it comes to energy bills, so we installed a 16 kilowatt solar system with two Powerwall batteries.
Sounds like a great set up. Tell me about your goals – you mentioned you wanted more predictability. What were you seeing previously, and what did you want to change about it?
Texas gets wicked hot. Our bills were pushing $500 each month in the summer, and then in the winter they were down to around $100. It was this huge swing in what we were paying, and I just wanted to know what each month was going to bring.
On top of that, we’ve been experiencing more power outages. We were severely affected by the freeze in February 2021. Our power was out for 36 hours which caused multiple pipes to break, and we ended up with $60,000 worth of damage.
It just really proved the point that we can’t rely exclusively on the grid. And when we were looking for alternatives I felt solar and battery were an excellent option. Unlike a generator that only provides backup power, there’s the added benefit of more predictable energy bills.
“I could lock in a low rate… with the potential to reduce our bill with solar buyback, and use the battery to save more while supporting the grid.”
Totally. It gives you security in two different ways: Protection from outages, and having a more consistent bill. And now you’re getting extra money back from the Adaptive Retail Rate – tell me about what made you want to join the program.
I looked at quite a few programs for solar buyback. Some had pretty good buyback rates, but the rate for energy imported to our home was really high. So when I looked at the David Energy plan, I was excited to see that I could lock in a low rate.
It was that, plus the potential to reduce our bill with solar buyback and sell back the battery power, too. I liked that we could use our battery in a different way than what it would normally be capable of, but also in a way that doesn’t affect our home life at all.
It’s a way to save us more money, but also to support the grid – so hopefully Texas can have some more reliable energy.
Right, so we can contribute to there being fewer outages that we need to protect ourselves against. How has your experience been with the program so far?
It’s so seamless and easy. We don’t make any adjustments to how we live our lives. It just happens, and we get credits on our electric bill.
The most changes we’ve seen have been from a billing perspective. We got our first bill with battery credits in June, and then the July bill came, and on both of those we were saving a lot compared to what we used to pay. It was like, $100 less than June of the previous year. Between the solar buyback and the battery buyback, the plan is really making a difference on our bill.
“Between the solar buyback and the battery buyback, the plan is really making a difference on our bill… it’s the best of both worlds. I was so pleasantly surprised when I got our first bill.”
I love what you said about it enabling you to use the battery in a different way. You’ve made this big investment into your home system, so you want to maximize its potential – and now with this plan, you’re able to access value that wasn’t available before.
I totally agree. It maximizes the system’s benefits, and maximizes the bill savings that you see from it – it’s just a really great way to get even more out of your system.
Plus, I love being able to play a part in the future of clean energy. On top of bill security and your home security, you feel like you’re doing something good for the future.
“On top of bill security and your home security, you feel like you’re doing something good for the future.”
You are! When we look at our data, most of the battery dispatching happens at times when solar is coming offline. Normally, that demand would be met by fossil fuels – but now we’re starting to fill that gap with clean power from your battery instead.
That’s super cool. I love that all of that is going on and I don’t have to do anything. I don’t even need to know exactly how it works, because I know you’re going to figure out when it’s best to send the power back. It’s literally all managed on my behalf, and my home still runs the way it’s supposed to run.
It’s the best of both worlds. You just sit back and wait to see the credits on the bill. And that’s it.
Well, we love to hear that. What’s good for you is good for us. Do you think you’ll recommend the Adaptive Retail Rate program to a friend?
Absolutely. I actually already have – a friend of ours got solar plus battery and they asked us who we went with. What I said to them was that you make it easy – David Energy and Sunnova are the experts in how the energy system works and maximizing savings, so they handle everything for you.
Well, when our referral program launches, it looks like I’m going to have to send you some credits. Thanks for chatting with us today, Jennifer!