I once fell into a crevasse. Head first. With a pack half as heavy as I was strapped to my back. Not my best moment, but as a student mountaineer, I was about to put into practice what I had been learning all week: alert my rope mates, check my harness, and search for a foothold.
Despite the five-year extension of the solar investment tax credit, the solar industry is as challenging as any mountain these days. New competitors can reshape the landscape. Changes in incentives can open up fissures. New regulations, cuts in feed in tariffs, elimination of net metering… any one of these can cause a landslide that will take weaker solar installers down with it. How can you prepare for challenges when you don’t even know what they will be?
We realized that installers who are focused on just lowering the cost of the components they install have their eye on the wrong ball. Survival takes lowering your soft costs, and that involves streamlining your operations and improving the efficiency of every step your team takes. Enphase has put together a Solar Survival Guide to help.
Learning from installers we work with, picking the brains of our Field Application Engineers, tapping solar efficiency experts, and drawing from the best practices of other industries, we have pulled together tips, tools, and best practices to help solar installers survive. The result is a seven-part series, first looking at the challenges you face, then digging into success strategies for six areas: the back office, warehouse, work vehicle, jobsite, crew, and long run operations and maintenance (O&M).
Thanks to crampons, rope and plenty of survival training, I emerged from the crevasse with my limbs, if not my pride, intact. And as I look into the craggy terrain of the solar industry, I hope that our Solar Survival Guide will help all installers get out unscathed. You can download the Survival Guide here.