The U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative has awarded Los Angeles-based Pick My Solar a grant to develop an app for capturing electricity usage data and enabling homeowners to search for solar power options through an online marketplace.
The PVimpact app will collect information about energy usage in real time and make it available through the company's online marketplace. The system aggregates three principal pieces of data: the homeowner's electricity usage, solar system production and contractual details of the solar system. The app then enables access to the information for analysis by homeowners, solar installers and utility companies.
Through this mechanism, prospective solar buyers will be able to see who in their neighborhood has gone solar, how much they paid and how much they are saving. Solar installers may access this same information to find prospective customers more easily.
Solar equipment manufacturers will be able to use PVimpact to access a pool of captured data on solar equipment performance. PVimpact will have the ability to capture data on how well panels and inverters perform compared to their ratings and how well they perform in different climates and conditions. The software will also enable utilities to study electricity consumption and production trends from residential solar installations.
Pick My Solar says it intends to release PVimpact to its customers this summer for free and then expand access to the rest of the U.S. residential solar market in early fall.