SolarCity has relaunched its app, adding features it thinks will help its technology grow increasingly popular among home owners.
The app, MySolarCity, includes real-time monitoring of energy usage and a feature reminiscent of Instagram where users can post photos. There’s also a function to track SolarCity technicians as they travel to your home. It’s reminiscent of Uber’s app, where you can watch as your driver navigates to you. Once the SolarCity technician completes his previous work order and is moving, his location will appear on your phone.
“Home services should be that way. Waiting for appointment windows just kind of sucks,” said Peter Rive, SolarCity’s chief technology officer. The morning of an appointment, SolarCity will provide a one-hour window for when its workers will arrive.
SolarCity hopes the app will make more of its customers informal advocates for solar power in their communities. Nearly a third of its customers come from referrals.
“People are very excited about that they’ve gone solar, but if you go to a BBQ or a bar, you can’t take your solar panels with you,” Rive said. “The next best thing is to take out your phone.”
Users can show off photos of their home and other solar homes, plus see who else in their area has solar panels. The idea is to remove the intimidation factor for potential solar energy converts.
A SolarCity customer at home can turn on and off different appliances to immediately see exactly how much each affects their energy consumption. There’s also a way to track energy usage in the long-term.