The recurring theme in Solar Industry headlines seems to be slanted with a viewpoint from the ‘top-down’. Obviously the larger installations, the commercial applications, manufacturing and distribution are the ‘big picture’ and big finances of the Solar and renewable energy Industry. However, it really boils down to ‘the people’. Ultimately the power of the people determines policy, sets trends and elects the politicians.
Recently a new Solar company began sales operations in Florida by partnering with an established Solar contractor who for over a decade has been primarily targeting large commercial jobs with a sprinkling of small business and residential customers in between. The goal of this fledgling company is to drive the market that is waiting to be served. They are implementing Community Awareness Programs for Homeowner’s Associations, Schools and communities in order to inform and educate the everyday consumer on what Solar can do for them. Green Futures Energy Corp’s mission is to dispel much of the misinformation and negative opinion on what Solar costs and what it delivers. Their experience so far is that the average homeowner and small business owner are thirsting for knowledge but have very little accurate information on what options are available to them.
When they read the headlines and the political rhetoric they hear mostly bad news about large manufactures going out of business and assume that this is because Solar doesn’t work. These same solar manufactures are the architects of their own failure by not realizing that the solution to their over supply and falling profits is more consumer demand from the ground up. A real grass-roots movement that just needs to be cultivated.
People want it and they are responding. A small company in Florida, Green Futures Energy Corp started without any funding or cash flow and with no marketing department in place sold $147,000 in the first 3 weeks of operation. Starting with 2 entrepreneurs and an established Solar Contractor today there are 10 people employed by the company and in addition an attorney, accountant, payroll company and marketing company benefiting financially from what was little more that a vision and a few thousand dollars six months ago. The company is poised for tremendous growth and expects to double the first month’s sales now that a lead generation and telemarketing department has gone online.
There are few opportunities in this economic climate that can claim such success. While sales are heavily influenced by the tax credits and rebates if the demand is well established now then the business will sustain itself when those are gone. So instead of lamenting that they are going away the Industry should extoll the benefits of taking advantage of them now.
If you whet the appetite of the consumers and build the demand the masses will reward you. All studies show that the consumer is looking for the answer to energy costs and conservation. The industry should stop telling them that it is too expensive. Where do you think they get the notion that it is too expensive? The Industry keeps telling them that it is in every article they write. Over and over again articles regurgitate the same cliche ‘people say solar is too expensive’. They say it because this is what they hear from the very Industry that proposes to sell it to them. What every article should say is that Solar and Renewable energy has never been more affordable, beneficial and needed that it is today. Cost versus Value is a perception. The free market determines that a consumer will pay what they perceive to be a good value. Where does that perception come from? Certainly there is no one in the Green energy business who doesn’t know and believe that the demand in the world for energy is going to rise, nations are developing and no matter how much more fossil fuel we are fortunate to discover the demand will increase to consume it. We can harvest resources from asteroids but the Sun delivers it to our rooftop for free.
Preach, teach and reach out to the individual consumer because the real solution resides in the power of the people. If they demand it we can deliver it. Our economy and our planet depend on it.