Category: Residential Generation
Solar installers faced significant headwinds in 2018. Tariffs on imported solar equipment depressed industry growth forecasts as installers struggled to balance rapid growth versus debt while market expansion slowed in key states. To continue growing, solar installers are looking for ways to increase customer acquisition while reducing cost and add revenue-generating services. By increasing consumer engagement, installers hope to decrease client churn and increase solar adoptions. See SEIA’s Solar Market Insight Report for more insights.
In June 2018, SEIA released its “Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power,” which aims to demystify the buying process for home-owners. The guide includes questions to ask your solar company about solar panels, storage and care. It starts the homeowner on a journey to understanding how solar can help them but doesn’t address the role of technology in assessing system needs or monitoring system performance.
Consumers are using smart phones to track their fitness, sleep, food, and other dimensions of their lives, but historically have lacked tools to understand what’s going on with their energy. In its 2016 survey of residential utility customers and SMBs, SEPA found that consumers wanted to track their community solar projects in real time from a web portal or mobile app. The report comments that program designers should consider this approach a must-have. (The Shelton Group and SEPA study was sponsored by the U.S. DOE.)
Very detailed home energy data is now available that empowers homeowners to assess their homes’ solar capacity and energy usage over time in order to make more informed decisions. Using a data-driven approach, combined with mobile/web tracking tools for homeowners, companies can change their roles to becoming advisors before, during and after the solar installation. Taking this approach helps to increase consumer engagement and reduce churn.
• The informative and relevant nature of your topic: This session will present either best practices or three case studies of solar installers who have adopted successful strategies to continue growing in the current business climate. New ways to engage customers, adapt business models and provide ongoing services will be explored.
• Clear and immediate application to the learner’s work: Participants will gain concrete and specific insights into business best practices that can help them thrive through market change.
• Who will benefit from this education (target audience): This session addresses solar installers who work with residential homeowners, ranging from SMBs to large, regional businesses.
Gabe Abbott– Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Sense