Second Best is a Loser

Is Solar Heating your lost sale?

Interesting statistic: – 78 % of people involved in selling and installing solar heating systems are not from the heating or plumbing trades. Where are they coming from? Many of them are electricians, auto mechanics, millwrights, handymen, educated do-it-yourselfers, or even home owners without any technical background at all.

It is very possible these days to buy everything including collectors, storage tanks, controls, condensing boilers and furnaces without ever setting foot in a plumbing/heating retail store or wholesale outlet. And why bother if traditional heating and plumbing suppliers are not even considering stocking any “high risk” or slow moving merchandise?

The Internet has replaced the salesmen and showrooms.

All information is retrievable in a nanosecond. The Internet has made trade buyers and consumers smarter than ever, even smarter than some salespeople in wholesale outlets.

Is the Solar Thermal industry facing the same fortune as hydronic heating? It took almost 25 years and hundred of thousands of dollars in investment for Viessmann North America to educate the industry about condensing boilers and low-loss headers. If it wasn’t for that missionary work of the Viessmann Academy, hydronic heating would still be roaming around the “black forest” of primary-secondary piping and copper fin boilers.

In the beginning it was too “techy” to understand, too difficult to sell, too challenging to get it done right and too hard to compete with the existing “industry standard”. But now it seems to be a matter of good reputation for every boiler manufacturer, wholesaler and contractor to offer, sell and install MODCON (modulating/condensing) boilers and radiant heating. Hurray! We now have the knowledge. It just took us 20 years to get it…

Back to Solar Heating...

You see, if those ex-electricians, auto mechanics and handymen who are now quick guaranteed payday loans dominating solar sales, can sell solar heating without knowing what a BTU is, then it tells you something. And that message is a wakeup call! Hey! If they know nothing about heating, but they are installing and making money, then we can do it better! If they can find customers, then demand is out there! If they can’t legally touch the gas boiler and water heater, we can! And to install Solar panels - no problem, we can too! But, can you?

It so happens that the Solar Thermal (Heating) Industry has grown up on its own, and is not a part of the Heating and Plumbing Industries in Canada or in the United States. The Solar industry has its own associations, trainings and certification requirements. Do you have your solar installer training and license? Not yet? Then join the crowd! But do you really need one?

Well. Do you remember that self-confidence boost after you received your condensing boiler technology training certificate from Viessmann Academy?  Or what about your Rehau, TACO, Uponor, Tekmar, WILO and other advanced training certificates hanging on the walls of your office that every customer can see?

Do you remember why you took a Gas Fitter course and wrote an exam?  To have a gas fitter license, Bubba! Because it is the law!

It’s the same thing with a Solar Installer License; - it becomes mandatory to have one. It’s also easy to get! And if you don’t have one, then there will be electricians, handymen and roofers who will be happy to take your business away!

Think about your last job. Do you want that same solar-licensed handyman to tie-in solar panels to your MODCON boiler and radiant heating system that you designed and installed?

Would you let it happen?