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How to sell solar PV: tips for installers

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 18 February 2015 at 10:05 am

Build your reputation, do due diligence and change the way you sell solar says Rexel UK's energy solutions director Jerry Hamilton. Speaking at the Solar Energy UK Roadshow he advised installers that local reputation is far the best way of getting referrals and jobs.

This is something we at YouGen agree heartily with, and encourage installers to use our membership scheme to do just that.

"Every time we hear about a nightmare [on Panorama] it hurts the industry," said Hamilton. "We all get tarred with the same brush. That's why it's important for customers to work with someone who is doing due diligence."

The two key areas he highlighted for this are warranties and product liability insurance. All warranties last 25 years, he pointed out, but lots are non-transferrable. "You as an installer are responsible for making sure that the warranty is fully transferrable in case you go out of business." It is equally important to check the product liability insurance - "make sure that the name of the product is right on it".

While solar PV is increasingly popular, people still don't understand the feed-in tariff, so Hamilton suggests that when selling solar, installers should focus on "generating electricity so you can use it, rather than sell it".

Reflecting another of my pet niggles about the industry, he also believes that quality is important. "If we fit quality, we will succeed," he said. "There is no excuse for a race to the bottom, cheapest wins market."

This is especially so, he pointed out, if you are trying to sell into the commercial roof market. In this market, he suggests selling by KWh generated over time vs installation costs rather than kWp vs installation costs.

The Solar Energy UK Roadshow continues to Edinburgh - Tuesday 24 February, Yorkshire - Wednesday 25 February and Leicester - Thursday 26 February. Book your place now and use code YOUGEN20 to get 20% discount.

Photo: Jason Morrison

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