Past Customers Are a Contractor’s Secret Weapon Lead Provider

Solar contractors are in a business in which word of mouth and proximity are important. Let’s talk about why solar contractors should be leveraging their customers and using them as a lead provider and marketing tool for referrals.

 

Federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) deduction. Image Source: EnergySage

The investment tax credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit, allows you to deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. The ITC applies to both residential and commercial systems, and there is no cap on its value. ~EnergySage

According to EnergySage, which also has a helpful page of solar panel incentives, rebates & tax breaks by state, the average EnergySage Solar Marketplace shopper saves nearly $9,000 on the cost of going solar as a result of the ITC. However, residential and commercial solar owners are facing a declining tax credit over the next few years. The ITC deduction drops to 26% in 2020, then 22% in 2021. Starting in 2022, only new commercial solar energy owners will be eligible for a 10% tax deduction for the cost of their systems.

This makes solar lead generation even more critical for solar contractors for the next couple of years. But which lead provider strategy should you follow? Does word-of-mouth work better? Are your current customers your best source of future leads? Or should you purchase leads?

According to SolarReviews, “The biggest generators of organic residential solar leads are SolarReviews, Solar-Estimate (also owned by Solar Reviews), Clean Energy Experts (who are owned by Sunrun) and EnergySage; Nobody else has any significant volume of organic solar leads.”

While you certainly should review and evaluate all reputable lead provider options, we believe your emphasis should be on your present customers. This is because the single greatest predictor of future solar is installed solar; when folks see their neighbors installing solar on their homes and businesses, they are more likely to purchase solar themselves.

Despite declining tax credits, solar installations are expected to grow, not slow.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), “In Q1 2019, the U.S. solar market surpassed 2 million installations – just three years after the market surpassed the 1 million installation milestone. The industry is expected to hit 3 million installations in 2021 and 4 million installations in 2023…. In the long term, the ITC step-down is expected to pull in demand in both legacy and emerging markets before declining in 2022. Growth resumes in 2023 and continues into 2024 based on economic fundamentals as the market adjusts to post-ITC market conditions.”

GreenTechMedia echoes this optimism for the future, reporting that, despite “headwinds” facing the solar industry due to the ITC step down, “there are a number of potential catalysts on the horizon, including ongoing cost declines, California’s home solar mandate and the still-fuzzy Green New Deal being discussed by Democrats.” For even more potential good news, check out CleanTechnica’s 2019 US Solar Market Outlook.

The more customers you have that take advantage of ITC credits before they expire, the more sales leads you will have in a post-ITC world.

Solerus Can Help!

Solerus Energy believes that solar contractors have it hard enough with their profits being eaten away at by the soft costs of solar. Solerus is there to help you maximize your highest-value lead provider—your customers—with affordable equipment and an array of helpful services for solar contractors.

Design Services

Solerus Energy offers two solar permit services, full solar design and permit package and solar single line diagram (free of cost with any residential system order up to 25kW or $50 with an order) for ANY residential and commercial solar installation in the USA. That includes battery back-up and off-grid solar installations, small and large commercial installations!

Solerus Energy also offers Structural and Electrical PE Stamps in all 50 states (separate quote upon request).

A Full Solar Design and Permit Package set is free with a residential system between 10kW and 25kW, or $.01-$0.05/W, depending upon system size.

Solerus offers everything you need to complete the solar permitting process in your area. This includes:

  • Cover page
  • Site plan for your solar installation
  • Array layout and attachment details
  • Single Line Diagram

In addition, Solerus Energy can offer full system layout and shading analysis (free w/full system order or $250 without and component order).

Takeaway

Your customer base is your most likely source of new solar leads. By gaining an understanding of the solar incentives and making your customers aware of them, you’ll be able to increase the chances of new solar jobs to grow your revenue. Solerus Energy can help you focus on growing your customer base, whether you are a residential or commercial contractor, at discount prices.

Solerus is a trusted solar energy equipment supplier, empowering contractors to develop agile solutions for commercial and residential clients. We provide a range of best-in-class solar products that are backed by an industry-leading 25-year warranty, designed to provide you with unparalleled peace of mind.

To learn more about government solar incentives and the equipment you’ll need to have happy customers at a price that you’ll love, feel free to contact one of our knowledgeable specialists today.