We were able to kick off the new year in Las Vegas at one of the biggest tech events in the world: CES. EnergySage joined Schneider Electric in their booth to talk about how we can help consumers go solar, and were able to explore the entire show floor, learning about the latest and greatest tech in the clean energy industry. In this article, we’ll share the key trends we noticed at CES 2023 and how they’re changing home energy.
Everything is electrifying: electric cars, motorbikes, and boats were all prominently featured.
Energy storage continues to expand: from home batteries to solar generators, more and more companies are seeing the importance of increased (and flexible) storage capacity.
Clean, smart homes are the future: both monitoring and control of everything in your home – whether that’s electricity, heating & cooling, or water – are becoming increasingly important as energy prices rise.
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Everything is electrifying
Electric forms of transportation dominated CES 2023: from cars, to motorbikes, to hydrofoil boats, to scooters, just about everything showcased at CES that you can drive included a battery. In the automotive space, we saw a wide range of car companies (old and new, luxury and basic) showcasing electric vehicles (EVs). Household-names, including Porsche, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz, as well as newer players, such as Lucid Motors and Faraday Future, all displayed luxury electric sports cars.
Mercedes Vision EQXX concept car
Trusted American brand Ram debuted the concept model of its 1500 Revolution Electric Truck, which will soon rival other electric pick-up trucks, such as the Ford F-150 Lightning or the Rivian R1T. Similarly, Lightyear demonstrated that EVs can be for everyone, launching its waitlist for the Lightyear 2, a solar-powered EV expected to be under $40,000 (before incentives!).
Ram 1500 EV concept pickup truck
Beyond EVs, we explored a long line of electric motorcycles and a number of electric bikes, which make battery-powered transportation easier than ever. And, we were particularly interested in two electric boat companies – Candela and Navier – which both use hydrofoils to reduce drag and extend battery capacity.
Navier’s hydrofoiling electric boat
Energy storage continues to expand
As more and more devices continue to electrify and we turn to renewables as the primary power source for electricity generation, we’ll need to significantly increase energy storage capacity in homes, at businesses and on the grid as a whole. In our highlights from RE+ this past September, we noted that more and more companies are entering the energy storage market in order to meet this demand – and CES was no different! Well established companies in other spaces – like Greenworks, an electric power tools company – showcased solar batteries (and EV chargers) as part of their home energy systems.
Greenworks’ home storage system
Portable storage was also widely exhibited throughout the show, with companies like Jackery, ALLPOWERS, Growatt, BLUETTI, and Geneverse displaying a wide (and impressive) range of solar generator and portable battery solutions, demonstrating how storage is becoming more affordable and accessible to all in a wider range of shapes and sizes.
Jackery’s solar generator camping setup
Similarly, home batteries are also becoming more versatile – for example, Lunna offers a portable battery that you can take with you, or add to your home storage system for greater capacity. And we’re seeing a wider range of companies entering the home battery space, beyond established solar brands.
Lunna’s portable batteries
Clean, smart homes are the future
There’s a good chance you already have one smart product as part of your home setup, whether it’s a phone, watch, or thermostat. But, as energy prices continue to rise, you’ll likely be looking to monitor and control even more throughout your home – many companies are already launching products in anticipation of this future demand.
We’ve been following the development of home energy management systems for a few years now, so at CES, it was exciting to see new approaches to electricity management. For example, Schneider Electric debuted the Schneider Home, which includes a smart electrical panel (Schneider Pulse), a home battery (Schneider Boost), a hybrid solar and storage inverter (Schneider Inverter), an EV charger (Schneider Charge) and, of course, an app to monitor and control all of these devices (Schneider Home). They also offer smart electric sockets and light switches for device-level monitoring and control, which can be Matter-connected.
The Schneider Home setup
Developed by the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) and members including Schneider Electric, Google, Apple, Amazon, and IKEA, Matter is the new global connectivity standard that will allow you to integrate all sorts of smart home devices, regardless of the brand. Ultimately, Matter will enable you to choose the smart devices that work best for you – instead of selecting all devices under one brand – making it easier than ever to create a clean, smart home that meets your needs and preferences, while also encouraging more companies to join the space.
Beyond electricity, we also saw a few companies with water monitoring and control systems. Both Kohler and Moen showcased smart water monitoring devices that can easily be installed in your existing water lines. These devices can protect your home by monitoring the flow of water, alerting you of any issues like water leaks, and allowing you to remotely shut off your water, if necessary.
Kohler’s H2Wise+ smart home water monitor
The importance of smart homes after NEM 3
In December 2022, California approved its new net metering policy, NEM 3, which significantly reduces the rate at which utility companies compensate California solar customers for the excess electricity they send to the grid. It doesn’t go into effect until April 14, 2023 and those who submit interconnection applications before then will be grandfathered into the existing rate plan (NEM 2) for 20 years – so, if you’re California resident looking to go solar, we recommend you do it now!
However, once NEM 3 does begin, you’ll see much greater savings by installing a solar-plus-storage system rather than a solar-only system (which isn’t the case under NEM 2). Also, the exact rate at which you’re compensated gets very complicated, varying based on the hour of the day, day of the week, and month of year; in fact, there are 576 possible export rates in total! Overall, this means that smart homes – like the Schneider Home or a combination of different Matter-enabled smart home products – will become increasingly important to California solar customers under NEM 3: they’ll enable you to easily program your whole energy system to store, export, and consume your solar energy at certain times to maximize your savings.
Start building your clean, smart home with EnergySage
If you’re excited to make your home both clean and smart, it’s easy to get started with EnergySage. Check out our Marketplace to compare multiple quotes for solar or solar-plus-storage systems from our network of pre-vetted installers – for free! If you’re looking to see our real-time highlights from CES, follow us on Instagram (@energysage_official) or head to YouTube for our CES presentation on homeowners’ pathways and barriers towards energy independence.