How to Sell Solar Without Net Metering: 7 Marketing Tactics You Can Steal
It’s no secret that incentives drive solar sales. When incentives are strong, everyone wants to put solar on their roof. But when policies change, interest drops fast.
We’re seeing this right now in California, where drastic net metering changes have significantly reduced the value homeowners see in rooftop and ground-mounted solar. As a result, sales are dropping and solar companies are being forced to close up shop.
So what do you do?
To stay in business—and keep solar alive—you need to shift your marketing strategy. We’ve been using the following strategies to grow leads for our clients in California and we’ve been seeing a lot of success.
California isn’t the only state that has been dealing with net metering changes, and these strategies can be adapted and applied to solar contractors in any state. If you want help developing your solar marketing strategy in a post-net-metering environment, reach out to Energy Circle for digital marketing services. We specialize in lead-gen marketing for solar companies!
1. Shift Emphasis to Solar + Storage
Slashes to net metering may reduce the value of solar alone, but increase the value of solar plus storage—especially in markets with time-of-use and peak demand charging. If net metering changes are recent or likely to be coming soon, start focusing your marketing efforts on storage immediately.
- Make sure you have a strong solar battery storage service page - Create product pages for any highly recognized batteries you install, like Tesla Powerwall - Publish blog content that highlights the benefits and value of battery storage - Develop video content to embed on your website and use in Facebook or YouTube ads
2. Highlight Other Incentives
When one incentive goes away, the rest of them become even more important. Remind your customers that the federal solar tax credit is not only still available but currently as high as it’s ever been—and it includes battery storage.
You should have a comprehensive rebates and incentives landing page that provides detailed information on all incentives, publish blog content that goes into even greater detail, and create Facebook ad campaigns that generate awareness.
3. Emphasize Your Brand
When the incentive landscape is challenging, there are less customers available, which makes standing out more important than ever. A lot of solar websites look the same, with interchangeable stock photos and messaging. If you stand out from the crowd with a custom website, imagery, and content, you’re going to get more calls.
4. Specialize and Diversify
A rough market is a great opportunity to diversify your offerings and/or lean into a specific niche. If you can do off-grid, ground-mounts, complex roofs, solar carports—any sort of unique offering—market it! It’s much easier to rank for specific keywords like “ground-mount solar installation” than it is to rank for general ones like “solar installation” which can help you grow leads around specific services faster.
You may also want to think about growing your offerings as a long-term lead generating strategy. Solar maintenance, EV chargers, and even energy audits can be a foot in the door for a solar install down the road.
5. Offer a Promotion (Especially if Your Competitors Are)
Offering a limited-time deal or promotion is a great way to drum up leads in a challenging market—a few hundred dollars off may be just what a tire-kicker needs to take the plunge. This is especially important if your competitors are offering deals. Keep an eye on the competition and if they’re offering a promotion, think about rolling out on your own.
6. Use Geo-Targeting to Prioritize High-Income Areas
Income-based geo targeting allows you to zoom in on potential cash-purchase customers in high-income areas. We utilize tools that allow us to pull from IRS data so we can pinpoint the highest-income zip codes in your service area and increase paid ad bids in those focused areas. Sound interesting? Give us a call to find out how you could be spending your PPC budget more strategically.
7. Have Episodic Marketing Campaigns Prepared
There are a few episodic events that put solar (and battery storage) at the top of homeowners minds, like heat waves, power outages, and severe storms. You should have campaign material ready to push out in the wake of a major storm or power outage to take advantage of the peaked interest.
Get Help with Your Solar Marketing
Do you need help with solar marketing? Energy Circle specializes in digital marketing for solar companies and can help you grow your leads with a strategic campaign designed for the local market in your area. We work with solar contractors across the country and keep our clients busy with consistent, high-quality leads—even when the market is down.
To book a free assessment, call 207-747-3135 or contact us online to schedule an evaluation with our team of digital marketing experts.