July 18, 2023

Maximizing your home energy system

How one Adaptive Retail Rate customer earned $40 back in a single afternoon

A few months ago, Sunnova customers became eligible for a first-of-its-kind energy plan. Designed to deliver optimal value from home energy systems, it enables those with solar and battery backup to not only sell their excess solar production back to the grid, but earn money from the stored energy in their battery, too.

Now, a blistering Texas summer is turning up the heat on the state’s electrical grid. And when energy prices spike, all that stored battery power becomes incredibly valuable: Fetching sky-high rates on the wholesale market when it’s most needed to support grid stability during times of high demand.

How valuable are we talking? Just take one Adaptive Retail Rate customer whose battery system generated more than $40 in a single afternoon on an extra-hot day in June that saw energy prices spike over 10,000%.

Timing the market

When it comes to the best value for your battery’s power, it’s all about timing the market. Energy prices fluctuate in real time with supply and demand – meaning that when things get hot, AC and other appliances kick into high gear, and as demand for power goes up, prices go right up with it.

While you pay a fixed rate for energy – giving you peace of mind to manage your monthly bills – retail electricity providers have access to the upside of those wholesale real time prices.

So what does this have to do with batteries? It’s all about getting the timing right to send that super-valuable stored power back to the grid. We carefully monitor the market and when prices spike, your battery is signaled to discharge – selling back your power and giving you the sweet, sweet upside of high market rates at just the right time.

battery discharging times the market for maximum value – while ensuring you always have enough power in reserve in case of an outage

Double your buyback, double your value

That $40 bill credit sounds pretty sweet on its own – and when you put it in perspective, it’s almost too good to be true.

Let’s learn more about our customer with the superstar battery system. They’re earning solar credits for their excess production, too, with the previous month delivering $41 in credits. Thanks to battery power, this customer earned as much in a single afternoon as their solar system delivered in the entire month prior. And on that high-price day, their solar generated $11 – meaning the battery delivered nearly 4x the value of solar alone.

If they had been on a regular solar buyback plan – not the Adaptive Retail Rate – they never would have had the chance to capture that extra value. And other Adaptive Retail Rate customers are reaping the benefits of doubling their earning opportunity, too: On average, those on this plan saw 200% more in credits during the price spike than solar alone.

real-time pricing during the spike on June 20th

Own your power production

You know that your solar system does an amazing job of powering your house when the sun is shining, producing your own power independent of the grid. But like any of your valuable assets, it pays to be strategic about how you use it. On a regular buyback plan, you have little control over how much power your panels are generating and selling back.

But with the Adaptive Retail Rate plan, your battery lets you truly own the power you produce and deploy it smartly, at the exact times it’s most valuable. And it’s not just dollar value, either. The market prices indicate how much the grid needs power to stay stable – meaning that the power you sell back during high demand times is crucial to keeping the lights on across all of Texas.

Summer, with high temps and frequent heat waves, is when the grid sees the highest demand. And this one isn’t looking like it’s cooling down anytime soon – we expect to see many more price spikes in the coming months. For every customer signing up for the Adaptive Retail Rate this summer, we’re looking forward to delivering you unparalleled value for your power production, and working together for the good of the grid.  

Thinking the Adaptive Retail Rate is the right plan for you? Get started today.

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