Plug’n’Play or Plug’n’Pray- The education gap in solar

The risks associated with an uneducated purchase are numerous. Consumer dissatisfaction, high returns, damage to industry. Whenever someone buys a solar panel thinking its going to work miracles for them and then realizes that there a long list of caveats associated to the deliverable, you have potentially created an “enemy of solar”.
The issue comes back to the promise. Lighting makers know this issue all too well. Is it about the watts or the lumens or about how often you must change the fixture. I finally bought the $10 light bulb from Home Depot. Its’ a twisted fluorescent type that promised to last as long as 6 incandescent ones. Well, it has been over one year and no burnout to report. It turns on, it turns off, it shines beautifully through rain or snow. Guess what? I’m a convert.
How to do the same with solar consumers? Perhaps we should make sure that their first and every contact with our sales team know what they are talking about. It means that either you increase the knowledge of your sales team or you risk losing that sale to competition. This is why the internet is going to play such a big role in future sales. Expect online sales of solar systems to explode in coming years. Installers will be just that, rather than wearing the double-hat of salesperson. The burden of proof and convincing will become the manufacturer’s.
The risk of an uneducated purchase goes far beyond the consumer that returns a $20 trickle charger which couldn’t light up its LED indicator light under cloudy conditions. That consumer will doubtfully become a buyer of larger systems. Mass merchants see return rates of up to 10% on this category due to misinformation. I am willing to bet that this creates an opportunity for those who educate their team and prove to consumers their knowledge.
A clerk at a canadian mass merchant retail store recently told me the solar panel they were selling could work in the dark. Either this guy didn’t know what he was talking about…or miracles still do happen!
Tata for now,

1 Comment

  1. Prof. Peter Adelmann says:

    I agree fully with Sass. The main misunderstood is that the user of solar systems dont want electricity. He wants a service made out of electricity. Our task has to be to give this service at low cost and good quality.

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