By Steven Wittenberg, Trina Solar Product Manager
Although residential solar took a hit from shelter-in-place orders during Q2 2020, the sector remains incredibly resilient with plenty of opportunities available for small installers.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, residential installations declined 23 percent from Q1 to Q2 2020. The slump arises largely from the imposed restrictions on selling and installations. Despite this hiccup, analysts still see the U.S. residential solar market on track to install almost 100 GWdc of solar in the next five years. This would represent a jump of 42 percent from the previous five years.
Small residential solar installers will need to use every tool at their disposal to remain agile and take advantage of this expected growth. Consider these four tips to help grow your business during these uncertain times:
1. Expand online solar sales
With lockdown still a major concern for many Americans, the old methods of door-to-door and face-to-face sales are much less commonplace nowadays. In some places, these tried-and-true methods are virtually impossible to implement due to social-distance restrictions.
In light of this, online solar sales can be the answer needed to generate leads and seal deals during these uncertain times. For instance, Greentech Media recently reported that SunRun took an initial hit in sales when social-distance restrictions were put in place. However, after moving all sales online, the company reached a single-day all time high for orders. While this might not be the case for every installer, it goes to show that online sales have a lot to offer even small residential solar installers.
Thankfully, there are handy and affordable online tools available for even the smallest residential solar panel installation companies. Not only will virtual transactions help finalize deals during lockdown, it can also help significantly reduce customer-acquisition costs.
2. Amp up digital marketing
With fewer places to go and less stuff to do, most people are stuck at home and glued to their devices. This makes it a perfect time to ramp up your digital marketing efforts.
From blogs to social media, there are numerous ways to engage with this captive audience.
You can then use the metrics and data obtained from these digital marketing efforts to generate more solar leads.
3. Highlight the aesthetics of newer modules
When they think of rooftop solar panels, many people still envision the traditional blue panels with the silver frame. And for many, they’re put off by how these panels will look on their roofs.
A recent MIT study showed that consumers prefer black solar panels compared to ones with a white backsheet. Homeowners also wanted the color of the panels to match the color of their roof. In addition, the study also found that respondents were willing to pay a higher price for better-looking solar systems.
What many homeowners might not realize is that there are rooftop solar panels available that are sleek, affordable and high powered. These all-black modules have solar cells that are nearly indistinguishable from the rest of the module, and match the typical black roofs.
This means installers need to highlight the aesthetics of these newer modules to inform and entice potential customers.
4. Lean into new home-energy patterns
Due to the increase of remote workers because of lockdown restrictions, many homeowners have seen a significant increase in their energy bills. This can be most noticeably seen impacting what energy analysts refer to as the duck curve.
Residential installers can use these shifting life and energy patterns as an opportunity to illustrate how rooftop solar panels can help offset increasing electricity bills. Even when things go back to normal, and businesses and offices reopen en masse, there’s still a high percentage of companies who will allow employees to work remotely. This means the shift in energy patterns will likely be permanent for many households.
Looking to offer the sleek, affordable and high-powered residential solar panels homebuyers are looking for? Contact the trusted solar pros at Trina Solar today to check out our all-black solar modules.
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