Electrical contractors must be prepared to take advantage of business opportunities in the residential market, as more people than ever are not only living at home, but also working and learning from there, dramatically increasing the electricity needs of the House. NECA’s “How Contractors Can Grow Their Residential Business in the New Electric World” presentation, presented by Bradford Wills and Ansul Rajgharia of Schneider Electric on day one of NECA 2021, showcases current trends in residential electrification and how CEs can help fill a void in the market.
Some of the challenges currently facing the residential market include increasing CO2 emissions, property damage from power outage, residential electricity bills, work-from-home opportunities, and people wanting to age in place. Meanwhile, electrical contractors are in a unique position to be the ones who can provide lifelong solutions to homeowners, says Wills, who is head of strategy and business execution for Schneider Electric’s Home and Commercial division. . These solutions include connected/smart home devices, electric vehicle charging solutions, solar power and storage, as well as services such as security, energy and automation.
“The concept of home is changing,” says Rajgharia, director of business development for the company’s Square D Residential Connected Products and Surge, citing how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed home electrical needs. They must now be suitable for work, school, play, health, etc., which requires greater resilience. Additionally, Wills says environmental concerns and the growing prevalence of millennial homeowners and buyers also mean an increased need for sustainable home solutions.
These trends can be daunting, especially for an industry that Wills says is used to installing hardware and leaving it. However, looking to the future, electrical contractors can use these electrical trends to secure continued business opportunities, as efficient, connected, and resilient electrical solutions for these homes will require a lifetime of service opportunities. “Instead of viewing each home you maintain as a unique thing, view it as a lifetime opportunity,” says Wills.
In conclusion, Wills and Rajgharia share four main steps to grow the residential business of an EC to meet the increased electrical needs of “homes of the future” that are resilient, hyper-efficient, personal and sustainable.
- Learn new skills. These include smart home and security installation, configuration and commissioning of digital applications, and more.
- Differentiate your business. An example includes consulting on home electrical/energy needs.
- Stay relevant. Building a lifelong relationship with customers, leveraging digital tools, etc.
- Offer new services. These can include energy monitoring, security, and storage.