In 2015, our most popular blog posts tracked closely with our overarching goal of “powering intelligent energy decisions.” Whether it’s behind-the-meter solar forecasts, tools for engaging consumers about their energy options, or understanding the ins and outs of new electric rates, we covered it this year. Here is a list of our top five viewed blog posts from 2015.

Predicting behind-the-meter PV CAISO

The proof is in: Integrating PV into the grid is better with behind-the-meter solar forecasts

With the state of California as our test-bed, we demonstrated how SolarAnywhere® FleetView® makes it possible for load forecasters and grid operators to, for the first time, measure the impact of “invisible” behind-the-meter PV systems in day-to-day operations. Project results prove that solar forecasts can keep existing operational tools from failing under the changing energy landscape, and reduce losses due to short-term market exposure that result from inaccurate load forecasts.

Electric Vehicle Calculator

With electric vehicles and solar, the ‘whole is greater than the sum of its parts’

The synergy of electric vehicles and solar is obvious: instead of going to the corner station and pumping gas to fuel your vehicle, you can install solar and “fuel” your vehicle with sunshine. What’s not so obvious is whether or not it’s possible to save more money by combining an electric vehicle (EV) with a home solar PV system rather than considering each individually. Often the answer is yes, and the additional savings can be substantial. WattPlan® makes it easy to calculate just how much homeowners can save by purchasing an EV, going solar or doing both.

PowerClerk online PV system of record

Intelligently manage distributed solar fleets with an online system-of-record

Administrating an interconnection or incentive program can be challenging, especially when it comes to keeping track of all the data. With multiple systems-of-record, program administrators can be forced to search through emails, paper documents, document management systems, legacy databases, file shares and more to find information for a single project. Consolidating a program’s application data in an online system-of-record such as PowerClerk® reduces inefficiencies, saving time and money. It also creates opportunities to leverage the value of program data in new and innovative ways.

utility customer engagement

Five to thrive: Key characteristics of great utility customer engagement

According to Utility Dive, 71% of utility executives expect funding for residential customer education programs to increase over the next five years. However, without rethinking the core characteristics of successful customer engagement, this funding will almost certainly fall short of achieving its goals. These five characteristics can mean the difference between thriving—or failing—utility customer engagement initiatives.

Solar in Hawaii, Top five

Solar + storage in Hawaii: Making cents of time-of-use economics

As Hawaii works through a host of complex interconnection issues, the solar industry is taking a fresh, new look at energy storage. Grid-connected storage has been around for years, promising a wide array of uses—and making wind and solar “dispatchable,” so that clean energy can be used whenever it is needed. Conventional wisdom is that behind-the-meter storage benefits from time-of-use (TOU) rate schedules. The simple analysis provided here suggests that at least in some cases, it may not.