Factsheet Solar Panels: How Companies Can Help Consumers

green energy, solar power, tiles, electricity

Solar tiles

Research Institute MilieuCentraal yielded a list of the six most common barriers to consumers to purchase solar panels. We translated these thresholds to tips to convince consumers in order to help you. 

 

1. I think the price is too high (24%)

Prices continue to drop while the efficiency of solar panels increases. Logical that consumers are wondering whether it is a good time to buy solar panels.right now.

But if households consider to buy a system now, and know what the price is of their self-produced solar power, it is about 50% cheaper than electricity from the grid.

So:

  • or, consumers do not know the current prices
  • or the objection relates to the initial purchase instead of the energy price (see barrier 2)

Action: Inform your (future) customers extensively on the economics of your offer.

  • The panels reveals the cheaper electricity than from the public grid
  • They give a return that is at least five times higher than in a bank account
  • The investment gives much less risk than an investment at the stock market
  • With solar panels people can repair their pension gap for free

Do not:

Make your offer cheaper.

The result will be that the customer still does not buy, because of the price perception. And it makes the margin smaller for a customers who is already willing to buy.

2. I have not enough money to buy the solar panels (24%)

This argument gives opportunities. Of course it’s a real barrier; the customer wants it, but simply does not have enough money. Actually quite double, because he can save expensive energy costs with the solar panels and therefore saves money.

Action

  • Advise and guide the customer in the possibilities of financing, lease or rent
    In this way, the customer can go direct to save
  • For some customers the investment is too much to pay in one bill
    Maybe you can offert the possibility of a modular paying system, in which – for example – a customer buys 5 panels right now and the next panels the next years?

3. I think the sell back regulations to the grid are too insecure (9%)

A justified objection because policies change frequently and the earnings selling solar power to the grid can change drastically if a grid arrangement changes or even disappears.

The rules and rates for selling electricity to the grid vary from state to state, as well as by utility company. Some make it easier than others, and there are caps on how much each household can sell via net metering, to prevent people from fleecing the utility companies.

Recently, there’s even been a push to make it harder for folks who generate renewable energy to sell it back to the grid. Opponents of net metering argue that people who generate their own electricity should pay the utility company for the privilege of using the grid. It’s another reason to take advantage of the money-earning possibilities of net metering while you can.

Action

  • Anticipate on this possibility in your communication with the client.
    sizing, energy storage, energy management or connecting an electric car will save the consumer anyway
  • Support a lobby for the preservation of grid arrangements.

Do not

Inform your customer wrong by saying that the current conditions remain or other uncertain information that could lead to disappointment of your customer.

4. I think solar panels are ugly (8%)

You can not argue about taste. Because more and more roofs are covered with solar panels, more people are not pleased with what they see.

Action

  • Make sure that your plants are looking nice and use a contiguous roof area per plant.
    Sometimes, panels are distributed in tufts on the roof, in order to show and demonstrate as much different PV’s as possible.
  • Do not promote the supplier industries and certainly not your company!
    Most installations are purchased by references (in imitation of the neighbor, friend  …).
  • Give your customers the opportunity to generate green energy less conspicuous
    Examples; CIGS panels (black matt) on a black roof, cells integrated in the roof tiles, transparent thin silicon films, panels integrated into the roof or the wall, etc.

5. I do not know much about solar panels (7%)

Although research indicates only 7% of your potential leads has given this argument, we think that a lack of knowledge and thus uncertainty gives you a serious change to reach the customer

Action

Consider the thoughts and perceptions of your customer while you have the conversation with your lead and take it seriously
What is important, which part is uncertainty?
And explain it to your customer!

Often this uncertainty will be of a general one. But – as long as this uncertainty exists – it is useless to inform the customer about the specs of your specific offer.
Realize that for you, solar installations are your daily business. For your customers it isn’t. His doubts are normal

6. I do have doubts about the quality of the panels or the installation (7%)

Remarkably, only a small percentage of the surveyed consumers mentions this, while in the industry, constant qualities and improving the quality is one of the recurrent debated issues.

Action

  • Spend conscious attention to quality in your offer. You should ask yourself: ‘what guarantees does your customer have over the lifetime of its installation?’

We mention a number of aspects:

  • Your PV-system and your choices for suppliers, which guarantees do they offer?
  • What kind of warranty do you offer, on what and for how long?
  • Which additional securities does the customer have if you could not fulfill your warranty obligations?
    You could consider a safeguards from trade associations, guarantee funds or insurance
  • Focus on quality:

What are the risks?

  • Motivate your choices for the design and suppliers
  • Inform your customers about existing opportunities to increase security
    such as extended warranty periods, an insurance or service contract

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