• Clean Energy
  • Residential Energy Storage
  • Home Energy Management

Vendor Moves Boost the Home Energy Storage Market

Neil Strother
Oct 15, 2019

Smart Home 3

The home energy storage market has new momentum. Several moves by market stakeholders in recent days has the sector poised for growth, or at the least increased competition.

Generac Is Expanding Into Clean Energy

Perhaps the most significant announcement came from Generac, a leader of the residential backup power system market. The company recently said it was expanding into clean energy with a complete ecosystem of new energy storage and management products.

Generac's move was not a complete surprise, as it had acquired a couple of smaller firms earlier in 2019. In March, Generac acquired Neurio, a startup focused on integrating hardware, software, and data science tools for monitoring and managing home energy. Then in April, Generac acquired Pika Energy, a maker of innovative battery storage technologies that enable homeowners and businesses to capture and store solar or grid power. The company intends to “design, manufacture, market, and sell environmentally responsible solar energy storage systems and home energy management tools,” according to a release.

Two Startups Interested in Home Energy Management

In a separate move, Arch Rao, the former head of products at Tesla who developed the Powerwall home energy storage system, began a startup called Span that has developed a digital system for integrating and managing home energy. The heart of Span’s system is an advanced electrical fuse box that can integrate solar, storage, and EV charging. The panel’s underlying intelligence enables a homeowner to optimize and balance all sources of energy from the grid, onsite batteries, or solar PV.

The startup Lumin is touting its platform for achieving whole-home backup and energy management through a white paper. Lumin’s goal (according to the white paper) is to demonstrate how installers can use an energy management platform and couple it with a Powerwall 2 to achieve backup for the entire home. The white paper focuses on a cost-conscious couple in Oakland, California, who were able to backup energy for their entire 1,750 square-foot home with a $15,000 budget. It’s a compelling example, though there would be challenges for larger homes or those located in different climates with different electricity rates.

Lancey Gains Funding

Lastly, a French startup called Lancey has developed what it calls the first electric space heater with an integrated battery. The company claims its product can cut heating bills by up to 50%; however, that is not the news. What is significant is a new round of funding for the firm totaling €8 million (approximately $8.8 million) led by ENGIE New Ventures and the EU’s innovation arm, EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument). The money is for developing new strategic partnerships and scaling Lancey’s manufacturing capabilities for both the French and international markets.

Residential Energy Storage Revolution

Though connected to the same market, these separate moves should be viewed as part of the residential energy storage evolution, one that has taken longer than I would have expected. But then again, I am an impatient technology observer always wanting the innovation to move fast or faster. It was just a few years ago I envisioned these energy storage capabilities becoming quickly integrated within homes. Nonetheless, it is heartening to see the progress. 

If interested, a recent Navigant Research’s report is worth a look: Navigant Research Leaderboard: Residential Solar PV Plus Energy Storage Providers.