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Part of leading a successful company depends on recognizing when the industry is pivoting and adjusting your business to embrace the future direction. Responding slowly to a dramatic market shift could mean losing market share to your competitors or worse. Smartphones, ride sharing, and video streaming each completely disrupted their respective markets, and the companies who adapted most swiftly not only positioned their business for success, but also substantially increased their profits.

HVAC contractors now face a similar market disruptor: solar power. Compared to other home service companies, HVAC contractors are uniquely qualified, equipped, and skilled to address this flourishing market. Failure to do so could lead to enterprise failure.

A Surge in Demand

The high cost of materials for solar panels once significantly impeded solar adoption, but thanks to recent advancements, generating electricity via photovoltaic (PV) modules now only costs $.08-$.14 per watt, making it affordable to more homeowners than ever.

Solar adoption also appeals to homeowners facing rising electric costs. In 2021, the average U.S. electricity bill rose at the fastest rate since 2008, increasing 4.3% from 2020 to 13.72 cents per kilowatthour (kWh) according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

A federal tax credit makes solar adoption even more financially attractive. Homeowners who installed solar panels in 2020-2022 received a 26% tax credit, and in 2023, homeowners who do the same will receive a 22% tax credit.

With the U.S. government committing to making half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles, electric vehicle sales are predicted to increase. This shift to electric increases the demand for a more economical source of energy.

Improvements in solar storage devices have also made them more cost-effective and appealing. Solar storage enables homeowners to benefit from a stable energy source to their home even when the rest of the neighborhood loses power. Solar power gives homeowners greater control over their home’s energy needs and makes them less susceptible to electric bill fluctuations.

For all these reasons, solar adoption in the U.S. has graduated to “mainstream” status and consequently, is viewed as a viable model for combatting high electricity costs while placing less stress on the environment.

Selling Solar

With solar adoption thriving across the country, HVAC contractors should be exploring how they can answer their customers’ growing demand. HVAC companies’ business model options primarily include:

  • A partnership in which the HVAC company funnels leads to a business partner
  • Subcontracting in which the HVAC business secures the sale and contracts the installation to another company
  • In-house services in which the HVAC company expands its operations to provide solar installations performed by its own employees

Selecting the right option for your business depends on a multitude of factors, including how much you’re willing to invest in the new service, how quickly you want to go to market, and how well-suited your business and employees are to make the change.

Pivoting Your HVAC Business

Solar power is the latest market disruptor, and HVAC businesses should review their business to determine which business model is best for embracing this growing revenue stream.

Some approaches require minimal investment, and in many cases, do not necessitate significant divergence from the core business. However, every HVAC business is unique with its specific goals, customer base, market, reputation, and employees.

Choosing the best path forward for adding solar installation to your HVAC business may seem intimidating, but Pearl Certification has partnered with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) to offer you The Solar Forum. This one-of-a-kind event will explore the advantages and disadvantages of the different business models, barriers to entry, business considerations, and more to put you on the path to success in this crucial time in our industry.

Register today for The Solar Forum at the Crowne Plaza, Phoenix Airport November 14-15, 2022, to learn more about embracing the solar power market disruptor changing our industry.

Join the Pearl Network.

Only Pearl Network Contractors are authorized to offer Pearl Certification — and only contractors who have demonstrated exceptional quality and service are accepted into the network. Call 1.844.PEARLØØ or complete the form to learn how joining the Pearl Network can drive leads, close more opportunities, and set you apart from the competition


Pearl Certification is transforming the housing market. We’re making a visible difference nationwide for homeowners and the businesses that serve them.