During our current coronavirus remote working culture, solar sales and installation professionals may be concerned about risking exposure during solar plus DemandEx site surveys. It’s coincidental, but Extensible Energy has been working on a suite of new remote site survey tools to enable easier assessment and installations of our DemandEx demand charge reduction software.
This new optimized site survey web app allows us to onboard new customers and to provide accurate DemandEx quotes during more normal times—and when travel to the site is limited. Even after the epidemic has passed (and we know it will!), our new site survey apps will be available to our solar partners for a more streamlined site survey for DemandeEx installations.
Our New DemandEx Quoting Process
Our quoting process has always been simple. Now it’s even more so.
First, we generate a rough quote based on interval data from the utility company and a few general questions about the hardware in the building. We usually take care of the interval data through our partner software. If you know or can obtain info about the building’s current thermostat and other hardware via phone, the estimation process is completely remote.
For the final estimate, we’ll need to collect more accurate information about the building’s energy management system, HVAC specifications, thermostat types, etc. This process can now be done remotely with our new app tools. To collect this site information, we made a two-part site survey via a website that’s compatible with any smartphone, tablet, or computer.
If our partner installers can’t be on-site, they can interview owners or building personnel remotely via a phone call or video chat. Either way, we recommend that installers complete this first survey section on a computer because there’s more typing involved:
Step 1: The survey app asks for basic contact information for all parties involved, like the building owner, facility manager, and other providers involved with the energy solution.
Step 2: The survey app asks for basic building information, such as floor plan, hours of operation, and other data. We use this info in our computer models so that we can provide the most accurate quote with the projected energy and demand savings.
Step 3: The survey app asks for general information about the proposed solar install, HVAC types, and connections.
These three survey steps should only take half an hour and can be done completely remotely when you are given specs or have a building manager or owner who can convey information about the building equipment.
Step 4: This next section requires one person to be inside of the building. This could be our installer partner walking the site and taking pictures of the hardware in the building, or once again, the building owner or manager can take the photos using our app. The new web app allows the onsite survey person to take pictures, draw and add text to images, record GPS location, and make voice notes.
As for the photos being taken, they’re images of the HVAC units, thermostats, car chargers, batteries, and other existing hardware that’s been installed previously. This photo collection tour allows us to provide installers with the most accurate DemandEx quote because it tells us whether we need to add small hardware costs for interfacing with the building equipment. Generally, this step takes less than an hour, but it could take longer for someone walking through a very large building. And that’s it.
After filling out these forms and taking a few snapshots of equipment, the survey person hits submit. Next, our sales team will finalize the quote and offer some tips on how to integrate the savings and pricing with your solar quote.
Later, all of this information helps Extensible Energy to provide everything needed to install DemandEx in less than a day. For more information about our new site survey app or becoming a partner solar installer, contact us!