You know what is better than a 3-year payback guarantee on a solar system? The truth.
Driven by greed (and an urge to get a sweet commission), salesmen in the solar industry can overpromise and underdeliver on promises to their customers. You might think having the highest number possible in your ROI metrics sets you apart from the competition, but a single claim of false promises can send your brand back to the stone ages. And with generalised data across the board, even companies that want to provide the best possible for their clientele can position their brand as thin of substance and consistency. We all know in an industry like Solar, having a blow to your reputation is as good as getting sued for misleading your customers. The question then is, how do you prevent such a thing from happening?
What differentiates a good installer from a great one?
Having the right historical Interval Meter Data for a project is key to deciding on an optimum system for your prospect and providing accurate metrics for their ROI and payback periods. Many installers tend to provide their recommendations on the size of the project as opposed to the usage of the client. But the question is, does a retired couple have the same needs for energy as a house of the same size with a family of 4 with parents working from home? Probably not if you ask us.
How can you avoid this issue as a solar installer?
- Use the Interval Meter Data Tool on OpenSolar:
OpenSolar is a free-to-use platform for solar professionals all around the world. SunWiz partners with OpenSolar to provide industry-leading software solutions from PVSell on the OpenSolar platform. The Interval Meter Data Tool on OpenSolar can:
– Convert historical meter data into the 8760-hour format for the OpenSolar platform
– Extrapolate missing data from incomplete records of Interval Meter Data
– Use data from a rich library of consumption profiles ranging from a small house to a shopping mall.
- Ask your prospect for their historical meter data:
Depending on the solar design solution you use as an installer, you can ask your prospect to provide their historical meter data. This data can be used as an additional input to inform metrics in your proposals, giving your customers more accurate payback periods and ROI.
- Profile your ordinary customers and create their consumption profiles:
Depending on your market, you might deal with customers that have some unifying demographics and characteristics. This is not as accurate as providing proposals based on their actual data but is a more resource friendly option. For example, your profiles can include a 4 bedroom house occupied by a family, a studio apartment for a couple and so on.
So what does this mean for me?
As a solar installer, here’s a list of things you should be doing to fairly treat your customer:
- Collect your prospect’s historical meter data that is used as an input for your financial metrics in your proposals
- Have a library of consumption profiles for your different categories of clients in case your prospect is unable to provide suitable meter data
- Make sure your proposals accurately depict payback periods. Giving a shiny guarantee might get you in the door short term, but overpromising and underdelivering is a recipe for bad reviews, reputation and revenues.
Don’t know where to start?
We have got you covered! Based on your solar system design software of choice, you can:
- Use the Interval Meter Data Tool on OpenSolar.
While you are using the tool, you will be able to:
- Use one of the many options available in our library
- Upload your prospects Interval Meter Data (and even extrapolate missing information!)
- Ask us to convert historical data into a standard format for you using your prospect’s historical bills
- Manually upload meter data on your solar design software.