Posts Tagged ‘PV’

Growing a Solar Business

June 28, 2010

A specialty subcontractor, who installs residential solar–electric systems as an adjunct to his primary line of business, engaged Marketing Intelligence & Strategy to develop and help execute a business plan to dramatically grow his solar energy business.

MISA research presented a comprehensive portrait of the local residential and commercial building marketplace through interviews with homeowners and commercial building operators, architects, residential and commercial builders, and electrical and plumbing subcontractors. Key insights (which likely apply in many localities) include:

– While a handful of the region’s architects and builders have significant appreciation for the possibilities of alternative energy systems, the large majority lack sufficient expertise to effectively advocate for, or help their customers fairly evaluate, solar alternatives.
– The initial costs of PhotoVoltaic PV systems are high enough (even with subsidies), and Return on Investment ROI predictions sufficiently uncertain, so as to discourage most homeowners who are not committed solar enthusiasts.
– Particularly for homeowners who do not have a natural gas fired hot water option, both the initial investment and the projected ROI for a solar-thermal domestic hot water system can be much more attractive.

Building on these insights, MISA created a business development plan which the Client:

– Pro-actively meets with an ever increasing circle of important architects, builders, and plumbing and electrical contractors to broaden the awareness and appreciation within the builder community of solar energy opportunities, and to establish the Client as the regional ‘go-to’ expert.
– Regularly addresses local civic groups, church groups, etc, and regularly engages in community activities, to educate a broader cross-section of the community about the benefits of alternative energy – and of the locally available expertise.
– MISA prepared news releases, and assisted the client in placing them in newspapers and local magazines.

The Client has earned increasing recognition and respect within the building and construction community as the leading authority on solar energy design and installation in the region. The Client has recently been awarded a contract to install solar electric plus solar hot water systems in a major new building at a local educational institution.