Why We Invested in Span and Modernization of Residential Energy

Span CEO Arch Rao & TDK Ventures President Nicolas Sauvage at TDK Ventures Portfolio Summit 2023


The rapidly evolving energy landscape and growing interest in sustainable energy sources are driving the adoption of home energy management and storage systems. These systems offer numerous benefits, such as reduced disruption risk, off-grid independence, and minimized peak energy usage. As more households adopt solar power and energy storage solutions, a sustainable, efficient, and resilient energy infrastructure can be achieved, benefiting both individuals, communities, and society in general.

To unlock the full potential of home energy management and storage systems, strategic outlooks and pathways must be addressed. These include providing homeowners with flexibility during blackouts, user-friendly applications for energy monitoring, and remote management capabilities. Addressing regulatory constraints, offering tools for energy monitoring, and supporting installers’ needs can help overcome barriers to widespread adoption and pave the way for a cleaner, greener future.

Span, a developer of smart energy solutions for the home, is addressing these needs head on with their revolutionary smart electrical panel for homes. Capable of integrating traditional household appliances and power syncs, alongside new clean-energy sources, Span has positioned themselves as the leader — helping homeowners better manage their energy usage, more easily make use of renewable energy sources, and drive decarbonization for homes.

Motivations Driving Home Energy Management & Storage

The evolving landscape of energy production and energy storage is significantly influencing the adoption of home energy management and storage systems in our daily lives. As the world shifts toward cleaner, more sustainable energy sources, the importance of energy management and storage systems is becoming increasingly apparent. With 75% of all new vehicle sales projected to be electric by 2040 the demand for efficient and accessible electric vehicle (EV) charging options is on the rise [1]. Moreover, by 2024, it is estimated that 2.5% of all U.S. homes will have a solar installation [2]. As energy costs continue to climb and the expenses associated with solar energy and battery storage systems decrease, an increasing number of residential homeowners will invest in home solar and storage solutions.

Figure 1. Increasing electric vehicle sales, up to an expected 75% of all sales by 2040 is a significant driver in considerations for residential and commercial energy storage/management [1].

In 2019, the 2 million residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar installations in the U.S. generated enough electricity each year to power over 12 million American homes. The combined solar generating capacity of these installations has now surpassed 70 gigawatts [2]. This remarkable growth in solar energy production is a testament to the evolving priorities of homeowners, businesses, and governments alike.

By integrating more efficient energy management systems and leveraging alternative energy sources like solar power, these systems offer numerous benefits. For instance, they have the potential to reduce the risk of disruption due to natural disasters (such as storms and wildfires) or man-made causes (like grid blackouts). Furthermore, energy storage systems can provide off-grid independence, allowing homeowners to rely less on traditional energy sources and become more self-sufficient.

Another significant advantage of home energy management and storage systems is their ability to minimize peak energy usage. During periods of high demand, stored power from home systems can be fed back into the grid, helping to alleviate the strain on energy infrastructure and reduce the overall demand for electricity. This not only benefits individual households but also contributes to a more stable and resilient energy grid for the entire community.

Figure 2. There is a increased demand for energy resilency against issues like blackouts and soaring cost leading to a marked uptick in solar panel installation [2, 3].

As the costs of solar panels and battery storage systems continue to decline, it is expected that an increasing number of households will adopt these sustainable energy solutions. This shift toward cleaner energy sources will not only help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also promote energy independence and security. In a world where climate change and resource scarcity are growing concerns, the adoption of home energy management and storage systems represents a crucial step toward a more sustainable and resilient future.

The rapidly changing energy landscape and the increasing prevalence of alternative energy sources are driving the adoption of home energy management and storage systems. These systems offer numerous benefits, including reduced disruption risk, off-grid independence, and minimized peak energy usage. As more households embrace solar power and energy storage solutions, we can expect a more sustainable, efficient, and resilient energy infrastructure that benefits both individuals and the larger community.

TDK Strategic Outlook: Identified Needs and Pathways Forward

To fully harness the potential of home energy management and storage systems, several strategic outlooks and pathways forward must be considered and addressed. The ultimate goal is to empower homeowners to effectively manage and monitor their energy consumption while ensuring a seamless transition to cleaner energy sources.

A crucial aspect of these systems is providing homeowners with the flexibility to choose which appliances to power during blackouts. This not only ensures that essential appliances continue to operate during emergencies but also helps to minimize energy consumption when demand is high. Additionally, user-friendly applications and resources must be made available to homeowners, allowing them to monitor their energy usage and reduce it over time. By offering accessible tools, homeowners can make informed decisions about their energy consumption habits and work towards a more sustainable future.

Another essential feature of home energy management and storage systems is giving homeowners the ability to remotely shutoff their appliances. This functionality enables them to shutoff appliances when not in use, reducing energy waste and lowering electricity bills. Moreover, home energy management systems should be designed to support multiple configurations, catering to the diverse needs of homeowners and the specific requirements of their residences.

However, several constraints must also be addressed to ensure the widespread adoption and success of home energy management and storage systems:

  • One significant challenge is that many consumers who adopt residential solar and storage solutions require applications to help them manage energy usage in their homes effectively. To address this need, energy management systems must be designed with user experience and ease of use in mind, guiding homeowners through the process of optimizing their energy consumption.
  • Regulatory requirements also pose a challenge, as they often mandate that licensed professionals install solar or battery systems in homes. This requirement can add additional costs and complexity to the process, deterring some homeowners from adopting these sustainable energy solutions. To overcome this barrier, it is essential to streamline the installation process and explore opportunities to reduce costs without compromising safety or quality.
  • Homeowners need tools to identify “vampire” appliances or faulty devices that consume excessive amounts of energy. By providing homeowners with the means to identify and replace these energy-draining appliances, home energy management systems can contribute to significant energy savings and enhanced efficiency.
  • Lastly, an indirect consideration unique to this market process is providing the installer the opportunity to offer homeowners additional productions and services. This allows to expand their business while promoting the adoption of sustainable energy solutions. This mutually beneficial arrangement supports the growth of the renewable energy sector and encourages more homeowners to invest in energy management and storage systems.

To fully realize the potential of home energy management and storage systems, it is vital to address the identified needs and pathways forward. By ensuring flexibility, user-friendly interfaces, remote control capabilities, and support for multiple configurations, these systems can empower homeowners to optimize their energy consumption and contribute to a more sustainable and efficient energy future. Additionally, addressing regulatory constraints, providing tools for energy monitoring, and supporting installers’ needs will help overcome barriers to widespread adoption and pave the way for a cleaner, greener future.

Opportunity in Market Landscape

The market opportunity for residential energy management and storage systems is substantial and continues to grow. The US energy storage market is projected to experience a sixfold increase, growing from 1.2 GW in 2020 to nearly 7.5 GW by 2025, which represents a value of $7.3 billion [4].

Figure 3. Market projections for US energy storage with skyrocketing expectations by 2025 [4].

A major factor contributing to the growth of the energy management and storage market is consumer concerns regarding potential power loss due to natural disasters, such as storms, fires, and hurricanes, or man-made causes like blackouts. The evolution of lower-cost storage options is also encouraging more homeowners to invest in home energy storage systems to enhance their energy resilience and security.

Government policies, including the Federal Investment Tax Credit and California’s Self Generation Incentive Program, are providing financial incentives for homeowners to adopt energy management and storage systems, further fueling the market’s growth. These incentives help to reduce the financial burden on homeowners and make the transition to cleaner, more sustainable energy sources more accessible. Changing solar regulations like Net Energy Metering and the potential to participate in Virtual Power Plant programs are other factors driving the energy management and storage market.

However, the widespread adoption of these systems also necessitates new infrastructure, specifically electric panels in homes, to accommodate emerging technologies such as solar panels, chargers, and batteries. This typically requires professional installation, which can be a barrier for some homeowners. To ensure continued growth in the energy management and storage market, it is crucial to address this challenge by streamlining the installation process, exploring opportunities to reduce costs, and promoting homeowner education on the benefits of these systems.

Span — Setting a New Bar for Home Energy Management

Span, a pioneering developer of smart energy solutions for the home, is leading the industry with its innovative, user-centered approach to electrical panel technology. The company’s vision is to provide homeowners with intuitive interfaces that simplify and enhance the experience of managing home energy. By offering advanced technology in a user-friendly format, Span aims to revolutionize how people interact with and control their home’s energy consumption.

The Span Smart Panel is a groundbreaking product that replaces traditional electrical panels in homes. This cutting-edge solution allows homeowners to monitor and manage their home energy and circuits from anywhere using a mobile app. When used in conjunction with a home battery, the Span Smart Panel enables homeowners to prioritize which appliances are essential to power during outages, ensuring continuous operation of critical devices. Additionally, Span’s technology offers features designed to help homeowners reduce their electricity bills, making it a practical and cost-effective choice for modern households.

Figure 4. Span smart electric panel [5, 6].

Span’s dominance in the smart electrical panel market can be attributed to several factors, including its unique product offerings that set it apart from competitors. The Span Smart Panel incorporates a computing platform directly into the panel, to deliver valuable insights to homeowners. This advanced technology also includes grid health monitoring, which is integrated with an automatic grid disconnect feature, ensuring seamless transitions during power outages. Moreover, the panel provides homeowners with the flexibility to choose which appliances to keep powered during blackouts, further enhancing its appeal to consumers.

The early market traction of Span’s products is a testament to the effectiveness of their approach, demonstrating the company’s ability to meet the evolving needs of today’s homeowners. Span’s impressive team, which includes experts from renowned companies such as Tesla, Google Nest, Amazon and Sunrun, showcases the company’s commitment to excellence and expertise in the energy sector. Furthermore, Span’s collaboration with industry-leading strategic partners like Sunrun and Mitsubishi highlights its dedication to forging strong alliances and driving innovation in the field.

Span’s unwavering commitment to delivering user-centered, technology-forward solutions has positioned the company as a frontrunner in the smart electrical panel market. By offering a sophisticated product with unparalleled features, assembling a stellar team, and partnering with top industry players, Span has successfully addressed the needs and constraints faced by homeowners in the ever-evolving energy landscape. As a result, the company continues to revolutionize the way people manage and consume energy in their homes, paving the way for a more sustainable, efficient, and connected future.

Why We Invested in Span

When considering the overall market outlook and the needs driving the industry, Span quickly distinguished themselves as having the potential to set a new standard for next generation energy management. Knowledge is power and data is wealth, and by putting data in the hands of the homeowner, everyone wins.

From the viewpoint of TDK Ventures, the decision to invest in Span was clear-cut. We saw an opportunity to infuse TDK’s expertise and support into Span’s technology, expediting its journey to the market. The simplicity of this alignment stems from Span’s vision of an integrated energy management solution in the cleantech sector, which resonates with our core objectives in both energy and digital transformation. Moreover, there exists substantial strategic alignment with broader TDK interests, encompassing energy management and storage, power electronics, and even RF components.

More importantly Span is the epitome of leveraging technology for greater social responsibility and value, promoting sustainability, energy resiliency, and more informed operation and load balancing of power resources. That’s a future we can all look forward to.


[1] Electric vehicles to be 75% of global new car sales by 2040. (2023, November 7). Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2023-11-07/the-57-trillion-ev-market-is-a-battleground-for-china-us-eu

[2] United States surpasses 2 million solar installations. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.seia.org/news/united-states-surpasses-2-million-solar-installations

[3] PG&E launches another round of power outages to prevent wildfires in California. (2019, October 23). Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pge-power-outage-updates-california-bracing-power-outages-wildfires-today-2019-10-23/

[4] U.S. energy storage monitor. (2018, August 6). Retrieved from https://www.woodmac.com/industry/power-and-renewables/us-energy-storage-monitor/

[5] Walker, E. (2022, November 29). Span’s new smart panel: An overview | EnergySage. Retrieved from https://news.energysage.com/span-new-smart-panel/

[6] SPAN® panel | A smarter electrical panel. (2023, March 15). Retrieved from https://www.span.io/panel

News Portfolio

03/25/2022: Span

"At Span we are re-architecting the home electrical panel to be the central hub for monitoring and managing all energy resources and loads in the home. The Span panel is engineered to give homeowners very high levels of insight and control into all aspects of their home energy usage. TDK is a key partner for us in delivering state-of-the-art products and groundbreaking services to customers. We are glad to have TDK Ventures onboard, journeying with us step-by-step and adding value along the way."