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Sunrun and SPAN Partner to Revolutionize Electrical Panel Upgrades

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

How the Sunrun and SPAN Partnership Provides the Best Electrical Upgrade Solution to Alchemy Solar Customers
Sunrun and SPAN Partnering to Revoke Electrical Panel Upgrades

Introduction: Sunrun and SPAN Partner to Revolutionize Electrical Panel Upgrades! How the Sunrun and SPAN is helping Alchemy Solar provide the best Main Electrical Panel Upgrade possible?

Alchemy Solar is focused on helping our customers transition to a more sustainable electrified future. Our partner Sunrun is the leader at advancing new technologies and renewable energy solutions to customers. Sunrun has recently announced an exciting expanded partnership with SPAN, the marker leader in developing smart electrical panels, EV charging, and solar-ready electrical panels.

Frequently when people think about adding solar and installing an electric vehicle charger, the only thing that they think about is the solar panels on the roof. In truth, installing solar, home batteries, and EV chargers means working with the home's electrical panel. Frequently upgrading an electrical panel can be a costly and time-consuming process. Sunrun's expanded relationship with SPAN is a huge milestone to help limit these issues.

What is the purpose of an electrical panel, and how have residential electrical panels worked in the past?

Before we can get into why the Sunrun and SPAN partnership is such a big deal for the future of residential solar, let's look at what an electrical panel is and how they have worked in the past.

What are the reasons why solar panel and home battery installations need electrical panel upgrades
3 Reasons Why Solar Projects Need Electrical Panel Upgrades (Infographic)

What is an electrical panel?

A home's electrical panel, or as breaker panel as it is sometimes known, is the metal box usually located outside a home. Inside the metal box is where a home's breaker is located.

The home's electrical panel is where electricity flows into and out of the house. For a home without solar power, electricity flows from the utility grid into the home's electrical meter and the home electrical panel.

Within the electrical panel are located multiple labeled breakers. Each breaker controls a specific circuit or area within the home. The breakers switches can be turned on or off manually, but most importantly, they are designed to shut off automatically if too much electrical current is flowing into them. All electricity flowing into the home can also be turned off, providing an extra layer of safety.

The electrical panel also tells you the amperage of a home. This amperage of a home dictates the electrical load that the home can handle.

In the United States, most homes have electrical service from 100 amps to 400 amps.

How does an electrical panel work?

When the electrical panel and circuit breakers were invented, they were designed with safety in mind. Before the invention of electrical panels, breakers would not shut off (or trip) when they became overloaded. Overloaded circuits would frequently lead to fires or electrifying people who had no way to know that the circuit would put them at risk.

An electrical panel has multiple breakers that control one circuit. Each circuit usually corresponds to a room, area of a house, or areally electrical hungry devices like an electric range or air conditioners.

Each breaker is designed to handle a certain amount of electrical load. If the flow of electricity exceeds the amount that the circuit is designed to handle, it will automatically shut off. The likelihood of a fire is reduced by a breaker shutting off, as is the chance of an appliance being shocked and destroyed by an uncontrolled spike in electricity.

Breakers can also shut off if too many devices are plugged into one circuit to help keep the home safe.

Breakers come in different sizes depending on how much electricity they need to handle. Similar to the different sizes that the home electrical panel can handle, breakers are divided into different amperages that they can handle.

Breakers range from 15 to 200 amps, but most residential breakers will be between 15 and 30 amps.

In addition to amps, breakers also have a voltage rating. Most breakers provide 120-volts. A 120-volt breaker covers the needs of most things in a home, like lights, televisions, etc. However, larger electrical appliances that need a lot of power, like an electric range stove, water pump, etc., will require a double circuit breaker rated at 240 volts.

Historically, the electrical panel used in homes are designed to keep the home safe and help ensure that circuits work correctly. A central part of the historical electrical panel we designed for electricity to flow in one direction, from the utility grid into the home. As more and more homes are installing solar, the function and design of the electrical panel need to be updated to the reality of how solar is changing how homes use and produce electricity.

Now that we understand the purpose and history of electrical panels let's look at what Sunrun's relationship with SPAN looks like and how it can improve the experience for Alchemy Solar customers.

Sunrun and SPAN: Two Market Leaders In The Renewable Energy Space Coming Together

Sunrun has been the industry leader in the residential solar space for well over a decade. Sunrun invented and developed the solar industry's first $0 down monthly solar option and has been the market leader at helping customers add home solar batteries with their Sunrun Brightbox product.

This expertise has allowed Sunrun to become the nation's largest installer. For Alchemy Solar's customers in Hawaii and California, this has helped homeowners increase the value of their home, protect themselves against power outages, gain access to Demand Response programs, and protect themselves against rising utility electricity costs.

In the same way, Sunrun has revolutionized the residential solar and home battery space, SPAN is doing the same for residential electrical panels and how homeowners use electricity. SPAN was founded in 2018 to create products that simplify and improve the process of adding solar, EV Charging, home batteries, and energy management systems.

How does the SPAN Electrical Panel Change the way electrical panel upgrades are completed
Five Revolutionary Aspects Of The SPAN Electrical Panel (Infographic)

SPAN has grown consistently since its founding. A central part of its growth has been the SPAN Panel, an electrical panel designed for how homes use electricity today. The SPAN Panel is the first significant leap in home's electrical panels in over one hundred years.

The SPAN Panel is a connected electrical panel specifically designed to work with the bi-directional flow of electricity that is a part of adding solar, home batteries like the (Tesla Powerwall and LG Chem) and Electric Vehicle charging. With the SPAN panel, customers can monitor and control every electrical circuit in the home. This visibility and control provide homeowners with the SPAN Panel unparalleled ability to use real-time usage information to produce, store, and use electricity.

The SPAN Panel provides a better customer experience by allowing the customer more visibility and control and, just as significantly, simplifies upgrading an electrical panel. Simplifying the electrical upgrade process helps speed up solar installations and reduces the cost of installing home solar and energy storage.

Why do solar customers need electrical upgrades, and how much do they cost?

Adding solar and or a home battery does add electrical load to a home because of the flow of electricity through various electrical circuits. As we know, electrical panels play a crucial role in keeping a home safe and ensuring that the home's electrical circuits work correctly.

If a home has an older, outdated electrical panel or a panel that's amperage is not large enough to accommodate the electricity produced by the solar panels, a customer will have to upgrade their electrical panel before installing solar.

Learn why an electrical panel upgrade costs $2,500
What is the average cost of an electrical panel upgrade $2,500

The electrical upgrade process requires getting a permit for the electrical upgrade. For most customers, an upgrade will be needed if they have an outdated electrical panel that is no longer produced or too small (usually under 100 amps). For most standard main panel upgrades, the cost will be around $2,500.

At Alchemy Solar, we understand that this additional cost of an electrical upgrade can be enough to hurt the economics of installing solar. So, to help more people switch to solar, Alchemy Solar does its best to cover the cost of standard electrical upgrades, so our customers do not have to pay out of pocket for the upgrade!

How does the Sunrun and SPAN partnership help Alchemy Solar customers?

Especially for our solar customers in Hawaii and California, the need for electrical upgrades can be a big hurdle for adding solar panels and home solar batteries.

To find a more cost-effective and straightforward solution for electrical upgrades, Sunrun is expanding its partnership with SPAN. This expanded partnership means that more Sunrun customers will have access to the smart SPAN Panel, providing more cost savings, better control of how electricity is used in the home, and the ability to add other technologies in the future to handle our transition to an electrified future better.

When discussing the value of the SPAN and Sunrun partnership, Sunrun CEO Mary Powell said, "Widespread home electrification is vital to achieving our decarbonization goals but required main panel upgrades are often a significant hurdle for customers wanting to shift away from fossil fuels to clean-energy-powered alternatives in their homes. This program will accelerate the adoption of home solar and batteries, electric vehicles, heat pumps, and so much more. In addition, SPAN's home electrical panel, with its intuitive app interface for homeowners, will reduce costs and installation complexities while providing improvements to Sunrun's customer experience through improved visibility and automation of our customers' energy needs."

For Alchemy Solar customers, this partnership will help us continue to provide the best products to our customers. With Sunrun, our customers receive the nation's best solar financing solutions, industry-leading battery technology, and the best solar and home battery warranty available.

As Sunrun begins to offer the SPAN Panel to more of Alchemy Solar's customers, they will get improved energy resiliency, the ability to customize the switches that receive backup power, smart electrical circuits that get be tracked and controlled from the customer's smartphone, and easier access to utility grid service programs like Hawaii's Demand Response Battery Bonus or the Kukui Hele Pō program.

Like Sunrun, SPAN is also constantly innovating. For example, SPAN recently released its SPAN Drive, a Level-2 electric car charger specifically designed to be installed with the SPAN Panel. The SPAN Drive allows customers to control when and with what power source (grid power or solar power) is used to charge the car. In addition, it supports Level 2.X fast charging and other smart charging features that allow for the cheapest cost of charging an Electric Vehicle.

Sunrun has proven it believes in the future of electric vehicles with its partnership on the Ford F-150 Lightning. By bringing the SPAN Panel into its product offerings, Sunrun is helping to ensure that as many homeowners as possible can add solar, battery storage, and electric vehicle charging to their homes.

Conclusion: Sunrun and SPAN simplify the transition to a renewable energy future.

Many prospective solar customers we talk with believe that adding solar and home batteries is expensive and complicated. At Alchemy Solar, we want our consumers in Hawaii and California to understand that adding solar does not have to be expensive or complicated!

Our partnership with Sunrun ensures that our customers constantly access the best solar, battery, and home energy management technology possible. The Sunrun and SPAN partnership is the next step in this process.

We are excited to work with Sunrun and SPAN to offer our customers the most advanced electrical panel available in the coming months. Alchemy Solar truly believes this partnership will help more people add solar panels and home batteries while maximizing savings and simplifying the process. A win, win for everyone looking to transition to a solar-powered future!

If you are interested in finding out how much solar and home batteries can save you, schedule a free consultation with Alchemy Solar today!

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