Enphase looking to strengthen smart home offering as it eyes greater European penetration

Enphase is moving towards becoming whole home energy solutions provider. Image: Enphase Energy

Microinverter supplier and home energy solutions company Enphase Energy is targeting greater growth in the European market following strong tailwinds in the region but is also seeking to draw on the experience of partner companies in Europe to drive growth across the US.  

Enphase recently strengthened its home energy management offering with an agreement to acquire German software provider GreenCom Networks and a tie-up with Home Connect, a digital platform that allows home appliances to be managed with an app.  

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“It’s a defining moment for our interests in home electrification,” Enphase’s senior director of communications, Andy Newbold, told PV Tech at the RE+ solar trade show in Anaheim, California last month. “We’re looking at home energy management holistically and thinking more and more about how we manage these systems.”

The company is aiming to integrate a range of distributed energy devises – from residential solar and electric vehicles to heat pumps and smart household appliances – into a simple software platform, allowing users to maximise their investments in clean energy resources and drive down household energy costs.  

“The idea is to make sure that you’re maximising those appliances to run at the most efficient times possible,” Newbold explained. Users of Enphase’s home energy system can set preferences as to when they use their dishwasher, dryer or when their EV charges, helping to drive down running costs by using cheap, abundant solar during the middle of the day.

“And that’s where the GreenCom deal comes in,” Newbold noted. He said the German company had extensive knowledge of operating home energy solutions in Europe and would be invaluable in supporting Enphase’s emerging smart homes strategy.

Homeowners will be able to monitor and control devices from an Enphase app and the acquisition is expected to provide installers with a complete home energy management system, integrating Enphase microinverters and batteries with third-party EV chargers and heat pumps, the company previously said.

Newbold said Enphase would use the knowledge and experience of GreenCom in Europe to further drive its impressive growth in the region as well as taking some of those learnings back to the US, although the demands behind residential energy solutions are very different in both places.

“There is a different pull from consumers in those regions. In the US, resiliency is a big factor, just look at Puerto Rico and California recently, while in Europe it is primarily about self-consumption,” said Newbold, pointing to soaring energy prices across Europe as a result of the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russian imports.

Indeed, Enphase has seen staggering growth in Europe over the past year. The company doubled its Q2 2022 revenue year-on-year and its revenue in Europe was up 89% on the same quarter last year and 69% on Q1 2022. Newbold expects in the region of 40% growth in its Q3 results.

And in order to better service this mounting demand, Enphase has expanded its global manufacturing capacity by partnering with manufacturer Flex in Timisoara, Romania to produce microinverters for its European base, with the plant expected to come online at the start of next year, producing seven million units annually.

“We’re currently meeting [European] demand,” Newbold said, “but we’re being strategic about sustainable growth.”

Meanwhile, Enphase is increasingly looking to ship more of its battery energy storage systems (BESS) to Europe, with Newbold identifying the region as a key growth market for its BESS, which are manufactured in China. “Batteries are very important part of our roadmap going forward and I’m very keen to introduce batteries into more European regions in the near future.”  

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