Sunnova tags Lumin smart panels in latest demand response partnership

The team-up illustrates an increasing trend towards integration versus competition in the smart home market.

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January 30, 2024

Photo credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images

Residential solar and storage provider Sunnova Energy International is partnering with smart panel maker Lumin to double down on flexible home energy management.

  • The top line: Lumin’s home electrical panel and load management tools will soon be integrated with Sunnova’s energy control platform, the companies announced today. The companies are betting that the enhanced intelligent load management capabilities will be a boon in a time when growth in demand response capacity is projected to be immense.
  • The nuts and bolts: Lumin’s out-of-the-box smart panels will be available to homeowners through Sunnova’s dealer network starting in the first quarter of this year. The partnership will add whole-home backup, extended battery life, and energy savings to customers with solar and storage, the companies said. Customers will be able to set circuit schedules and limits based on time-of-use-rates, net metering policies, and demand charges. 
  • The current take: Daisy Dunlap, analyst for Latitude Intelligence, said the expansion of Sunnova’s tech stack to include Lumin “indicates a step in favor of growing market direction for integration versus competition.” Moving forward, the company’s growing software capacity will be a key indicator to watch, she added.

Integrating Lumin’s smart panel into Sunnova’s product will give homeowners more insight and control over their energy usage, the pair said in a statement. 

And, given Lumin’s “hardware-agnostic” approach, the panel could also essentially serve as a retrofit, expanding the capacity of an existing circuit panel without having to invest in complete replacements. (Sunnova’s Adaptive Home package includes a foundational solar plus storage system with some home management capabilities, but has increasingly expanded to include various optional add-ons like generators and microinverters.) 

This comes in the wake of 2023’s “banner year” for grid edge tech deals per Wood Mackenzie, and a particularly good year for customer energy management solutions. The latter were bolstered by partnerships like the latest between Lumin and Sunnova, but also between Sunnova and Generac and Sunrun and Lunar Energy

That’s a trend that Dunlap anticipates the market will see more of in 2024: “The smart home market is growing and receiving increasing investment, making partnerships like the one between Sunnova and Lumin more likely as interconnected networks can expand market share and customer outreach,” she said.

But it’s not just residential solar companies that are all-in on integration. Today’s announcement also follows a string of integration announcements for Lumin, including a January 2023 partnership with distributed intelligence company Itron to enable “edge intelligence” for demand-response programs, and a December deal with ABB targeting behind-the-meter consumption data and home electrification.

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