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09/22/2011 11:16 AM     print story email story  

Solar Powered Businesses: A Powerful Brand

SustainableBusiness.com News

Businesses that install solar systems find they can build customer loyalty and sales by publicly displaying the performance of those systems. 

"The benefits of solar monitoring are not always obvious, but it's an extremely powerful tool," says SunReports CEO Tom Dinkel. "One of the most exciting uses of monitoring we've seen emerge, especially in the age of social media, is when businesses use monitoring to build their identity as ‘solar powered.' This has tremendous ability to create customer loyalty." 

SunReports specializes in monitoring systems for solar PV and hot water systems.

For instance, Toronto's Beach Solar Laundromat reports a direct increase in customer base and overall revenue since displaying the performance of its solar hot water system 18 months ago.

In an industry with little obvious opportunity for differentiation, the "solar halo" has given the company a significant advantage, evidenced by a 160% growth in revenue over the period.

A car wash in Stamford, CT reports similar results from publicly monitoring the performance of its 18 solar hot water panels.

"We're pleased to see that our customers are as enthused about environmental practices as we are," notes Gregg Mercede, owner of Greenwich Avenue Car Wash. "It's been a draw for our environmentally-conscious customers to see how we've dramatically reduced our carbon footprint."

Besides building brands, monitoring also leads to a clearer understanding of the operational value of solar systems. California gym Toadal Fitness generates an average of over 1200 therms per year with its solar thermal collectors, which contributes to water heating for showers, steam baths, laundry, pool and Jacuzzi.

"Since we incorporated SunReports into our overall solar system, it's been a total eye-opening experience," says Christophe Bellito, one of Toadal Fitness' owners. "We were able to comprehend clearly our total hot water usage, which validated our decision to install solar thermal. We've considerably trimmed down our operating expenses without having to compromise the service we offer our clients. As an added bonus, we have verification that we'll save 202 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted over the next 25 years."

To help companies establish their green brands, SunReports recently introduced the first Facebook application that broadcasts users' solar performance to their social networks.

Website: www.sunreports.com/



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