Alternative energy solutions such as solar power options are becoming increasingly popular among both homeowners and business owners. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since they not only help reduce electrical costs in the long term but often, can also qualify the owner for a variety of grants or rebates.
The problem is that a lot of the people who hire electricians or other installers to hook up alternative energy options may not know how to apply for these grants, rebates, and offsets. They may not even know what’s available to them.
Depending on how you view the situation, this may be where you come in. Some electricians are more than willing to help clients fill out the paperwork to qualify for these money-saving opportunities.
Others don’t see it as being a part of their job, though they will still suggest rebates and offsets to the clients who want solar panels and other alternative energy options. The question is, should you help clients with their grant and rebate paperwork?
A Value-Added Upsell
If you either already have an alternative energy focus to your business or want to attract more alternative energy clients, putting rebates and similar options front and center in your marketing is a good idea.
This also presents an excellent opportunity to use assistance with the paperwork as an upsell opportunity, letting clients know that you’ll be there every step of the way, even if they don’t know what to apply for or how to go about it.
This may require a bit of research on your part, but on the plus side, it means that you can install the specific systems and components that are eligible for the most rebates and other incentives. Many programs require that the installed systems meet certain standards or be manufactured in specific places.
The time you spend learning about the programs and how to apply for them will translate into the biggest savings for your clients, and if it’s marketed correctly, it should net you additional alternative energy sales as well.
Leave It to the Client
If you don’t have much experience or desire in the alternative energy field, you might find that it isn’t worth your time to spend a significant amount of time researching program requirements and application specifics. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore clients who want help with their paperwork, of course.
Instead, the best option is to simply explain that you don’t have much experience with the grant programs either and beyond providing documentation or component listings you aren’t able to provide much help. It’s an honest response, accomplished without being rude to the client or dismissing their desire to save money.
Can You Really Help?
The big issue with providing assistance paperwork assistance to clients comes down to your own experience and knowledge. If you aren’t very familiar with the programs they’re applying for, there isn’t much help that you’ll be able to offer, beyond basic information about the installation.
If you aren’t highly experienced when it comes to alternative energy installs, then you may not even know much about them, beyond following the installation instructions that you’re given. Don’t promise assistance that you can’t deliver, but if you are building a reputation as a solar or alternative energy installer, don’t be afraid to make grant and rebate programs (and assistance applying for them) into a selling point either.
Have you ever had a client ask you for help with grant or rebate paperwork for an alternative energy install? Did you offer your assistance?