If you’re a solar installer that works on commercial projects, it’s not a question of if you use solar software, but what you use it for. And really the more important question is: Are you getting everything you need from your solar software?
Most of us have built our software solutions piecemeal, adding functionality as we’ve discovered we need it. This means that many companies are stuck with software that only meets their most basic needs, tools that don’t talk to each other, and a technology stack that can’t scale as you grow.
Remember, commercial solar software is supposed to make your job easier, it’s supposed to work with you and your workflows, it’s supposed to remove pain points.
That’s why we created The Big Book of Commercial Solar Software Must-Haves. If you’re considering new solar software, or adding a solution, or even buying for the first time, this e-book lays out everything you need to think about.
In this post, we’ll detail three major pain points that commercial solar installers deal with every day, and look at how great solar software can eliminate them — along with a few bonus features to look out for.
Wasting time taking on-site measurements
One of the biggest hassles for solar installers is having to get in a truck and go measure something at the site, whether it’s getting a roof measurement or having to shlep back over for a change order due to inaccurate information.
But, how do you conduct remote site assessments with confidence? It starts with accurate HD imagery and features like LIDAR wherever you do business.
The good news is that most solar software does incorporate HD imagery. However, some have coverage that, to put it mildly, is limited.
So, before committing to any software, make sure to investigate the in your target market. Taking it a step further, the best providers also have nearmap integrated into their platform.
Bonus: Do you use other image sources, maybe from drones? Make absolutely sure you can upload those files quickly and easily into the software.
Getting the technical details right on big projects
A hallmark of many commercial installs is that they are big and they are complicated. Anything your solar software can do to reduce the complexity for you with the click of a button can be a huge time saver.
When you’re working with literally hundreds of panels, software that can perform the stringing automatically saves time, and reduces errors. Some solar software can even do intelligent auto-stringing by using shading data to maximize the efficiency of the system and decrease loss due to shading. And when you need to make adjustments to something like your desired string length? The software should be able to update the design and the single-line diagram — in real-time.
Bonus: Take even more of the load off of your designers by looking for auto-stringing that can also automatically calculate conductor lengths and power losses based on conductor length, type, and size.
Paying for software that you don’t use
Of course, maybe the most frustrating thing about solar software is paying for it month after month if your teams don’t use it. A lot of it comes down to complexity. While commercial solar software does some incredible things, it still has to be intuitive and easy to use, or your teams won’t use it.
Bonus: Let’s look at a particular feature to illustrate what we’re talking about.
It’s no secret that commercial utility rates can be incredibly complicated. You may see that a software tool provides access to utility rate libraries and think that’s good enough.
But think about it, utility rate libraries are also complicated and difficult to use! So, is that tool really helping? In this case, to truly make sure your teams will use it, you’d want to look for a tool that can help you create, edit, and update any utility rate.
That’s just three common pain points that commercial solar software can help out with. To learn how solar software can help remove more of the pain points your business deals with every day — and help it run more smoothly — download the full e-book. Then, if you’d like to talk about some specifics for your business, schedule a personalized demo.