Even with record-breaking rooftop installations already underway, the U.S. solar boom is just getting started. The new decarbonization goals from the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP 26) now in place will help lay a solid foundation to support major additional residential solar adoption in the U.S. 

As of Q3 2021, the U.S. is averaging quarterly residential solar installations on one out of every 600 households, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). But as the country looks to meet aggressive decarbonization goals, there will be an even greater push for more residential solar adoption, with analysts forecasting 12% growth in this market during 2022. 

Despite the sunny forecasts for residential solar, installers cannot sit back and wait for customers to come to them. And all too often, passive lead generation methods like lead lists, referrals and inbound marketing can be too slow to come in and contain outdated information when they do. 

Instead, installers can consider these four must-try strategies to identify new residential solar prospects to grow their customer base:

1. Harness Data

Harnessing data from local property apps can provide a wealth of information that can be used to develop, qualify and contact highly targeted leads lists. These apps, when paired with energy calculators like EnergySage or Google’s Project Sunroof, allow users to filter locations based on income, equity level, roof type, and irradiance. With this info in hand, installers can focus on households best suited for rooftop PV installations. 

Similarly, using owned content collateral to market the installation company can also provide useful customer data. This method involves creating, posting and tracking blogs and social media, and burrowing down into the available data to see where visitors are located and their demographics. Plus, this data can give residential installers the information they need to update their customer persona profiles.

2. Update customer persona profiles

Meanwhile, shifting trends in homeowners’ perspectives on and knowledge about rooftop solar continue to evolve and mature.

Installers need to ensure they’re updating and tailoring pitches according to specific personas. Not all solar customers are cut from the same cloth, and households have varying reasons why they’re interested in going solar. It’s important to understand individual customer motivations instead of using a cookie-cutter pitch. 

Some examples of customer persona profiles include:

  1. Energy independence seeker: These individuals have the potential for adding solar + storage, or even setting up an EV charger. 

  2. Money-smart homeowner seeking energy savings: This customer might not really care about the environment or energy independence, and is strictly interested in the bottom line and finding ways to save money.

  3. Climate change advocate: These customers are more focused on lowering their carbon footprint and doing what it takes to make that happen, and might be less focused on costs.

Another reason to update customer persona profiles arises due to changing customer demographics. While upper-middle class and upper class families comprised the initial wave of solar adopters, a new study found shrinking disparity in income levels for rooftop solar buyers. Although solar adopters generally skew towards higher incomes, that trend continues to diminish over time with new solar buyers now comprising many low-to-moderate income (LMI) households, a recent Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report found. Greater solar access and equity can potentially open new markets and revenue streams for installers who might’ve otherwise focused solely on higher income neighborhoods. 

3. Get involved in local homeowner communities

Local communities and homeowners associations (HOAs) can potentially provide a number of new potential customers. This is especially true in places like Texas, which just recently passed a law prohibiting HOAs from banning rooftop solar installations. Communities like this are ripe for a surge in solar adoption. 

Many of these communities and HOAs have their own websites or newsletters. Find out what it takes to get listed on these, and use them as a way to get your foot in the neighborhood door.

In addition, consider sponsoring community-wide events, such as block parties, festivals or picnics. These are great ways to get the company’s name out and meet local residents, all while giving something back to the community and having a fun time!

4. Use affordable panels with big value

One of the best tried-and-true ways to bring in new customers is providing them with the best value possible.

Trina Solar’s residential PV modules provide customers with the powerful yet affordable PV panels that use innovative half-cut cell technology to generate bigger power output and improve module efficiency by more than 2% compared to traditional modules.

Coupled with TrinaProtect, a 25-year product and 25-year performance warranty program for the North American market, homeowners will have peace of mind about their energy needs for decades.

Reach out to Trina Solar today to learn more about how to deliver better value for homeowner customers. 

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