Don’t you hate these articles: 11 things to do to improve your life in 2011, blah blah blah. But I read them anyway.
So, in the spirit of the new year the fact that I’m convinced that 2011 will be the breakout year for energy management systems, here are the things you should be looking to do to grow your energy management services this year.
And no, I didn’t list 11. Just 10. I think.
And I don’t advocate trying to do them all. If you just do a few, you’ll have a leg up on everyone else. Pick and choose among these:
Create demand. Don’t wait for it. Get out there and tell your customers about energy management and what it can do for them. Use brochures, flyers, newsletters and e-newsletters. (Stay tuned: GreenTech Advocates will be offering some of these valuable sales aids soon.) And host events to show people how they can save energy and money.
Devise an energy management policy. What energy monitoring systems will you sell and how do they interface with home control systems? What connections and cabling will be required between them? Will you first measure a home’s electricity use and offer homeowners suggestions on how to save? What systems can you sell to save energy in home theater applications? Much of this will be answered as more home control systems work with energy monitors to shut off devices automatically, but don’t wait for the floodgates to open. Start thinking about it now, and start writing your plan.
Be the LED expert for your clients. Super-energy efficient LED (light-emitting diode) lamps are coming down in price and are available at home improvement stores. But people do not know how to buy them. You should be putting your existing clients on LED diets by installing better-quality LEDs that work with their existing lighting control systems. And this will get you in the door to perform other services. You should also learn all about LED dimming.
Look hard at the retrofit market. It doesn’t have to be the mass market where companies like ADT, Comcast and Verizon are selling inexpensive and limited home control systems. Look upmarket, to the “mass affluent” market of homeowners with annual household incomes of $100,000 and above. They’ll be in the market for better energy management systems. Devise ways you can reach these people.
Know the systems. Learn as much as you can about the various energy monitoring and energy management systems on the market. Study what the systems from ADT, Comcast and the rest can and can’t do. And find out what’s coming down the pike so you can be prepared. Read the blogs and use RSS feeds and Google alerts to stay abreast of the news in this area. New stuff happens almost every day.
Become LEED accredited. You can become a LEED Accredited Professional (AP) with a few weeks study time. This will enable you to get in on some green building projects with your newfound expertise.
Formulate your smart grid strategy. The smart grid, in which electric utilities use two-way communicating smart meters, may or may not be in your area yet. But it will come. See who to contact at your local utility about helping to install energy management systems, even for smart grid trials—and keep at it. When the utility rolls out its programs, they may give you a call.
Get involved in green groups. Is there a green building council in your area? If so, join it. If not, start one. You’ll quickly become the resident technology expert, and when local builders and architects warm to energy management—and they will—you’ll be the one they call.
Create partnerships with green builders, architects. See above. And look to speak at local AIA (American Institute of Architect) events about the energy saving benefits of home control and lighting systems and energy monitors. Architects are always looking for an edge, and you might be the one to provide them that.
Grow your own business green. If you want to sell green, be green. Install an energy monitoring system in your own office or showroom, along with a home control and lighting system, and log how much energy savings resulted. Then you can show that to prospective clients. Get your employees involved as well, and name one or two of them to head up the office energy efficiency plan.
If you have trouble downloading the pdf file, click here: EnergyMgtTakeaway