Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

 

October 29, 2018

ResidentialBy Caryl Anne Crowne

Each year, more people are interested in incorporating energy conservation in their homes and daily lives. Businesses that promote energy conservation and energy efficiency gain loyal customers and improve their bottom line in the long term. If you are an electrician or contractor, you can make more money through repeat business and referrals by using and encouraging your customers to use energy saving strategies throughout their homes. 

Energy conservation versus energy efficiency 

The topic of green energy can sometimes be confusing; therefore, it is important to understand the key differences between energy conservation and energy efficiency as you sell and explain your products and services to potential clients. Energy conservation is directly related to an individual’s personal actions and behaviour in everyday life. This might include turning off the lights as you leave a room or shutting off the water as you brush your teeth. Energy efficiency is more related to products such as smart thermostats, smart appliances, solar panels and energy efficient light bulbs. Both practices will potentially save your customers thousands of dollars a year. 

Consumers and green energy 

Most consumers are willing to spend money on products that are better for the environment and support businesses that follow green practices, as well as promote environmental conservation through their products and services. Some statistics include that over 50 percent of consumers prefer to support sustainable businesses and over 65 percent will spend more money on green products and services. These figures are expected to increase with each passing year. The sooner you can offer these products and services, the larger share of the market you will be able to secure. 

Energy savings explained 

In some circumstances, green products and services are more expensive. When it comes to one’s home, many people are looking for ways to save money. As such, it can become challenging to convince customers to spend a little more money today to save thousands of dollars in the future. One of the best ways to secure the attention of your clients is to show them real-life examples of energy bills before and after the introduction of green products. You can find them online or you can use your own bills as an example. You might even ask a trusted client for copies of their bills to present. 

Trigger a personal connection 

The terms you use can have a tremendous impact on your ability to close sales. One proven methodology is to use terms the consumer can understand rather than overly complicated terms and technical jargon. Most people can relate to the terms green and sustainable; however, they may not be as familiar with other more sophisticated terms used by industry professionals. As you explain the benefits and rewards of green products and practices in the home, try to relate circumstances to their personal lives and provide examples to which they can relate backed up with facts and statistics. For example, you can explain that by using a smart thermostat, they can save nearly 25 percent in energy costs each year. 

Energy saving resources 

Energy saving resources are nearly everywhere today, and they are even more accessible with the help of the Internet. It is important to use and share sources from reputable and trustworthy organizations and publications. Many states have their own websites dedicated to green energy. The same is true for many contractor and electrician organizations. You can also find great resources from government websites. Green product websites do a great job of describing the benefits of their products that you can share with your customers. It might also be a good idea to include these resources on your own website for easier access for your clients, and as a way to improve your client transparency. 

Upcoming trends 

Each year, with the development of technology and innovation, new energy saving trends emerge. Most of these trends evolve into standard practices. Smart appliances and smart thermostats are exploding in popularity. Both contractors and electricians should make themselves highly familiar with these products to be able to sell them to customers and become trained in installation. More businesses and homes are purchasing solar panels. Achieving a net-zero house is another growing trend. Consumers are taking steps to ensure their entire home is as green as possible. Contractors and electricians must follow strict guidelines to achieve such a prestigious energy saving rating. 

In addition to providing benefits to your customers, your business will also benefit from providing energy conservation tips and energy efficient products and services. You might have to be trained or certified to be able to provide these offerings; however, it will save your customers money and make you more money in the long term. Just like you will explain to your clients, spending a few dollars today will make you thousands tomorrow.

Caryl Anne Crowne is a contributing writer and media specialist for Mr. Electric, where this article first appeared. She often produces content for a variety of electrical industry blogs.

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As industry experts you know the products you use everyday better than anyone and should have input on what information you receive about products and what could improve them.

Therefore, we want your insight on the biggest challenges or issues you face when installing loadcentres, breakers (CAFI, GFI's…) and other surge protection devices. We ask that you do not provide product specific details but rather your general issues and concerns or any questions that have come to mind while working with these product types. Provide us with your valued expert insight into the issues you have faced so manufacturers can better inform you about the installation and use of these products. Lets generate some discussion that will help guide the Industry.

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