Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The solar industry continues to face both unprecedented challenges and exciting opportunities. To explore this ongoing tension for 2024, our experts at Aurora collaborated with the team at Solar Power World on a webinar to shed light on what the next year could hold.
The panel featured:
- David Maurer, Director of Corporate Sales, Aurora Solar
- Bogdan Zlatkov, Sr. Content Marketing Manager, Aurora Solar
- Curtis Merring, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Aurora Solar
- Billy Ludt, Senior Editor, Moderator, Solar Power World
Our discussion focused on five core topics, each critical to understanding the evolving landscape of the PV industry. Read on to learn what impact the economy, storage, net metering (in California), financing, and public trust are having on the PV industry — and how you can best navigate these changes.
In the first installment, we analyzed three of the biggest trends these experts expect to see in 2024. In this second installment, we’ll walk through two clear strategies to make the most of them.
Solar financing: Adapting to rising loan rates and emerging trends
The world of solar financing is dynamic, and Bogdan articulated recent shifts and strategies for nimbly adapting to ongoing changes. For example, the average quoted loan rate for residential PV projects has significantly increased in recent years, jumping from 2.52% to 6.10%, adding further barriers to investing in solar.
Savvy solar companies, then, will work to understand each homeowner’s financial capacity and desired interest rate to make their PV dreams a reality. And, as the popularity of third-party ownership (TPO) agreements rises, companies can offer alternate financing models for solar installations. Aurora’s tools let salespeople do just that, determining the best financing agreement that’s tailored to individual affordability.
In fact, nearly half of homeowners — particularly millennials and Generation X — express a need for clearer explanations of financing options from solar installers. With Aurora, salespeople can easily model different financing scenarios, including TPO, cash, and loans, all presented in a compelling, interactive, and digestible way. This not only helps customers make a decision, but strengthens transparency and trust between installers and homeowners, empowering the customer to approach solar financing with confidence.
Building trust: The key to success in solar installations
According to David Maurer, trust is the primary factor influencing homeowners’ decisions to buy from a specific PV installer, and there are numbers to back that up. Despite 41% of homeowners showing interest in solar, many have yet to install panels on their property, highlighting the need for trustworthy, reliable, and communicative solar providers. Homeowners’ preferences in providers and their outreach styles vary, with 38% favoring national-level contractors and 28% relying solely on word-of-mouth recommendations.
Analyzing those preferences can help teams strategize their pitches, since 27% of homeowners express discomfort with seemingly “intrusive, spammy” direct outreach from solar companies. When 50% of homeowners find it difficult to discern which solar contractors are legitimate — a concern reflected in the significant increase in complaints over the past five years — a consistent, authentic online and in-person presence is key.
We’re committed to providing accurate and transparent information that empowers you to directly tackle these trust issues. While installers are responsible for actively listening to and educating their customers, we’re here to support you with accurate, eye-catching proposals and presentations, so you can build trust and set a higher standard for integrity in the solar industry.
Exploring solar’s next chapter
To learn more about the risks and opportunities on the horizon, watch the full webinar.
If you’re interested in more info on some of the strategies here, schedule a quick chat with our team.
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