4 main customer types for solar installers and how to sell to them

Find out the 4 main types of customers that will buy solar, what their pain points are, and what motivates them.

Updated:
June 17, 2022
Find out the 4 main types of customers that will buy solar, what their pain points are, and what motivates them.
Lucian Wu
Lucian Wu

I firmly believe that in order to succeed in marketing, we must all know exactly who we’re selling to. Not only that, but we need to really dive in deep to find out what their pain points are, what their problems are, what do they believe in, what do they fear, and what are their motivations etc.

If we don’t do that, we won’t get anywhere. We’ll be marketing to everyone, which means we’re marketing to no one.

We’ve helped a number of solar companies uncover their ideal customer in what we called “Discovery Sessions”

Each one of these ideal customers / customer personas are different because each one of our clients are different. 

But here are the 4 basic types that are quite common and have come up a few times.

  1. Calculated and frugal investors
  2. Climate change advocates
  3. Energy independence seekers
  4. Tech enthusiasts

Let’s discuss their pain points and motivations.

Calculated and frugal investors

This is the most common type of solar consumer.

Calculated and frugal investors are careful with their money.  

Their primary goal is to spend wisely and be lean if possible. They understand the climate impacts of solar, but their main goal is to ensure they get the best bang for buck.

They are typically a family with 2-3 children. One parent or perhaps both are full time working professionals. 

Their home is decently large, and will have heaters and air conditioning systems but conserving energy is not one of their primary concerns.

They may be watching out for government rebates with a keen eye. They know what power company they are with, how much they’re paying, and whether they are under a contract.

They may already have their smart meter readings on file. With that, they would be able to calculate what the payback period will be.

These types of consumers are very analytical and won’t mind paying more for better quality. The most important criteria to them is seeing the value of the investment. 

Pain Points

  • They are extremely busy with their work, and just want someone that they can trust to explain it to them.
  • They are sceptical of solar installers that promise the world but cannot deliver.
  • They’ve heard of solar companies not returning for warranty issues, and don’t want that to happen to them.

Motivations

  • They want a really good return on investment and have heard that the ROI for solar is 2-3 years.
  • They want to be in control of their power and bills
  • They want to take advantage of the rebates while it is still available.

Climate change advocates

These people will do everything they can to help save the environment.

They are typically keen on recycling, like composting and will typically vote for the Greens party.

They are generally younger, quite educated, and understand the science behind climate change.

They know that whatever they do will only be a drop in the ocean, but want to make a difference. They fear that if they are not responsible for taking control, the world will be a very different place in a few decades time. They also hope that their children will be able to enjoy the world as they are now.

They are fed up with world leaders taking bribes, and the general inaction of major polluting countries.

Paying a little extra is not important to them so long as they know they’re making a difference. 

To them, installing solar panels is not about saving money. It is an extension of who they are. They will tell all their friends and family about it, and be your biggest advocate and marketer if you do a good job.

Pain points

  • They are disappointed with climate change being politicised. They believe that it is backed by science, and there should be no debate on whether humans affected climate change or not.
  • They feel that if nothing is done, then the next generation is going to pay the price for it.

Motivations

  • They want to be the leaders in fighting climate change.
  • They want to send a message when getting solar panels. It is not about saving money, it is about making a statement.

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Energy independence seekers

The idea of not needing energy from another source fills these types of consumers with joy.

This means they want to control the generation, storage and consumption of electricity. This will mean that they are looking into a battery already. 

They are typically slightly older, perhaps semi-retired, children have left, and they have the financial means to be able to go independent. 

Their home may be slightly smaller, which means being energy independent is quite possible. 

Because of their need for independence, they may also be composting and growing their own food.

They want to look at their electricity bill, and know that they have either contributed to the grid, or hardly used any grid electricity.

Pain Points

  • They’re frustrated about the frequency of power outages
  • They’ve had yearly increases in power bills, and they feel powerless to stop it.
  • Fluctuating prices make it hard to predict and control their budget.

Motivations

  • They want to have peace of mind. Having fewer things to worry about reduces stress.
  • They want to be able to live off the land, and not rely on anyone else.

Tech enthusiasts

These are the people who are early adopters of technology because they love it. They see solar as being the future of energy generation, and want to be one of the first ones to enjoy it.

To them climate change and cost savings are an added bonus.

They love checking usage on a regular basis via their app. Because they have access to all the data on their smartphones, they also love showing their friends how much they love their solar system.

They may go and replace their gas appliances with electric ones just to get the most out of their solar system.

They may also be solar enthusiasts. They’re on forums such as whirlpool or reddit, and probably understand the science behind how solar panels work.

They also love their computer and some may even venture into crypto mining, which uses a lot of energy.

These people are likely to be young adults still living with their parents or young homeowners. This means they may not have the financial means to buy solar systems immediately. But they know that they want to in the future. Get into their hearts and minds by being on the same platforms they are, such as Tik Tok, and create content that educates or entertains.

If successful, you may be able to become a generational brand.

Pain points

  • Don’t want to be left behind with technology
  • They look in envy of their friends who have the latest tech, and want to feel the same.
  • Don’t want to be controlled by their parents, government, or large corporations. 

Motivations

  • They dream of generating and consuming all the energy they need from their solar panels.
  • They may not have the money now, but when they do, they’ll be buying a Tesla.

Conclusion

So these are the 4 main customer types for solar. Did I miss out on any? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you would like me to help you uncover your business’ ideal customer, click on the link below. 

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