Now that rooftop solar in California isn’t the total financial no-brainer it was before April 2023, I started wondering what sales pitch will be effective for installers going forward. Because right now, they’re all over the map!

Background: as of April 2023, California regulators lowered the compensation customers receive for rooftop solar. Under the longstanding prior (NEM 2.0) system, customers got full retail-price credits (e.g. up to 50 cents per kWh or more) for electrons they exported to the grid, regardless of time of day. Under the new system (NEM 3.0), customers only get paid meaningful amounts at certain times of day, resulting in longer payback periods, even for systems with batteries.

Here’s some of the marketing pitches currently running on the California websites of national, regional and local solar installers. Hopefully a taste of the greater competition to come among solar installers, resulting in lower costs and higher quality, and more deployment and decarbonization.

Now’s-the-time pitch: fight rising energy prices and temperatures! (Baker Home Energy)

A stronger (but still vague) empowerment pitch… declare energy independence!

Resilience pitch: fight the PG&E bogeyman! (Sunrun)

Solar + storage as a generator replacement pitch (SonoMarin).

Appealing to upscale prosumers and diy’ers (celeb Bill Walton for Stellar Solar San Diego)

Selling the aspirational/modern luxury dream (Sunrun)

Selling the sustainability/climate angle.

Selling the property value angle.

Selling the long-term savings (now that short-term’s less viable).

The tried-and-true savings lead-generation wizard.

Highlighting government incentives.

Combined sell with other home improvements (often also electrical upgrades, home EV chargers etc).

This is just the beginning.

Many local installers haven’t even fully updated their websites, or their Google ads, since April to reflect the new NEM 3.0 reality… they’re still busy finishing NEM 2.0 jobs. It’s going to take some time for California solar companies to understand the new landscape, update their product offerings (e.g. with storage and management), and fine-tune their new sales pitches based on what works. May the most efficient, lowest cost and highest quality companies (and their equipment vendors) win!